A judge has lifted a freeze on the assets of Floyd County disability attorney Eric C. Conn, who has been sued for alleged fraud by former clients.
However, Circuit Judge Johnny Ray Harris also barred Conn from destroying any client files or transferring assets or money outside the country.
One of Conn's attorneys, former state Supreme Court Justice Joseph Lambert, said Conn had no intent to destroy evidence or transfer assets.
Former clients of Conn sued him for alleged fraud after 900 people his firm represented received notice that the Social Security Administration planned to suspend their disability checks while it re-determined their eligibility.
The agency said there was a suspicion that cases Conn filed for the people contained fraudulent information from four doctors Conn used.
Conn has denied any wrongdoing.
Harris had issued an order in that case prohibiting Conn from tying up or disposing of assets. Attorneys for Conn's former clients requested the order, citing concerns that Conn had destroyed documents in the past and might try to hide assets.
Conn never improperly destroyed records, his attorney said.
After Harris issued the restraining order, Social Security decided to restore benefits to the 900 people until a judge rules on their eligibility.
In an order issued Thursday, Harris said that decision removed any possible irreparable injury to Conn's former clients. Such harm was part of the test of whether to keep the freeze in place.
Harris also said he did not have authority to impose a complete freeze on Conn's assets, which was one argument Conn's attorneys made.
The judge also ordered Conn to provide a copy of his legal malpractice insurance.