Why, oh, why hasn't Eric C. Conn been indicted?
Conn, for those lucky people who haven't heard of him, is the notorious Social Security disability robo-lawyer, many of whose Eastern Kentucky clients received notices last week that their benefits were being suspended.
The Social Security Administration said in a statement that it took this action because "there was reason to believe fraud" in cases involving certain doctors.
"In each case, Eric C. Conn or another individual from his law firm acted as the attorney representative," for the claimant, the SSA wrote.
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So, the people Conn represented are losing benefits because of suspected fraud in their claims, but the lawyer who represented them has been charged with nothing. And he is still licensed to practice law in Kentucky.
Conn, his doctors and the administrative law judges who facilitated his cases have been the subject of damning reports by both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the Wall Street Journal and 60 Minutes.
The most comprehensive of these is the 160-page report released in October 2013 that resulted from two years of work by the staff of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
That report is titled "How Some Legal, Medical and Judicial Professionals Abused Social Security Disability Programs for the Country's Most Vulnerable: A Case Study of the Conn Law Firm."
It describes an agency eager to reduce backlogs and an attorney who hired "whore doctors" to sign pre-printed medical forms which Administrative Law Judge David Daugherty relied on to grant virtually every appeal Conn brought before him.
Conn collected $22.7 million from SSA for representing claimants, most before the Huntington, W. Va. disability review office, between 2001 and 2013.
The SSA gave employees commendations and bonuses for moving a high volume of cases. Whistleblowers were not only ignored, they were spied on in an attempt to discredit them.
When things got hot, after the Wall Street Journal reported on the scheme, Conn destroyed computers and hired a contractor to shred an estimated 2.6 million papers.
U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn was on that committee. Last December, in parting comments on the floor before retiring, his frustration boiled over.
The Senate report gave the Justice Department "an absolutely, totally perfect case," he said. He couldn't understand why "U.S. attorneys will not prosecute a thief of the highest order (Conn)," or why "a crook (Daughtery) retires with their pension."
Finally, the SSA has taken action. Four years after the Wall Street Journal article, almost two years after the Senate report, it cut off benefits for Conn's clients.
U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, who represents many of those affected, criticized the SSA for suspending "critical disability payments." He's meeting with SSA officials this week to seek a solution. Rogers should also ask if SSA is pursuing Conn to recover the millions he's received.
Individuals have brought at least three civil suits against Conn and others, including a class-action suit filed Friday in Kentucky. But the burden of pursuing Conn should fall on the federal government not his victims.
No doubt, some of his clients were cheating with false claims. Others had the bad luck to go to the most prominent disability attorney in the area.
The $1,200 or $1,400 a month they need to survive has disappeared. They now must document again that they are unable to work, although their case files at the Conn law office have likely been destroyed.
Many of them, probably all, are wondering why they got a letter from the federal government and Conn didn't.
And so are we.