A Pikeville psychologist was convicted Monday of taking part in a massive disability fraud scheme in Eastern Kentucky.
Jurors convicted Alfred Bradley Adkins, 45, of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and making a false statement on a record submitted to the Social Security Administration, according to a court record.
The most serious charges carry sentences of up to 20 years in prison.
U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves ordered Adkins taken into custody after the verdict and scheduled him to be sentenced Sept. 22.
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Adkins was charged with signing mental-impairment evaluations on clients of attorney Eric C. Conn that Adkins had not actually examined.
Conn represented thousands of people in Eastern Kentucky trying to win disability benefits through Social Security. He hired Adkins to evaluate his clients’ work-related mental abilities.
The third person charged in the case, longtime Social Security judge David B. Daugherty, took bribes to award benefits to Conn’s clients. Conn and Daugherty pleaded guilty.
“Today’s jury verdict holds accountable the final defendant for his role in the largest scheme to defraud the Social Security Administration in its history,” said acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco said in a news release.
Prosecutor Elizabeth Garland Wright told jurors in Adkins’ case that around 2007, Adkins started signing evaluation forms that Conn or his employees filled out and gave him.
Conn had five versions of the form, and staff members allegedly picked them at random and filled them out.
The conditions noted on the forms didn’t match the disabilities people had in some cases, but Adkins signed the false forms without reviewing them, Wright told jurors.
When Conn pleaded guilty in March, he said Adkins didn’t like doing the assessments.
“It’s all bull---- anyway,” Adkins allegedly said.
Wright said Adkins received about $200,000 while taking part in the scheme with Conn.
Adkins’ attorney, Jonah Lee Stevens, told jurors that Adkins was not part of the scheme and had been duped by Conn.
Stevens said Adkins discovered many of the forms Conn used in cases did not have his correct signature, and some did not include evaluations he did.
“His mistake was he trusted the law firm of attorney Eric C. Conn,” Stevens told jurors.
The jury deliberated about three hours before returning a conviction on the four felony charges.
Conn would likely have been a witness against Adkins but absconded from home detention a few days before the trial started.