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Attorney Eric C. Conn and former judge David Daugherty accused of fraud in lawsuit

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Two Social Security Administration employees have accused an eastern Kentucky attorney who specializes in disability claims and a former administrative judge of scheming to defraud the federal government out of millions of dollars.

In a lawsuit unsealed Tuesday in federal court in Pikeville, lawyer Eric C. Conn and former judge David Daugherty are accused of manipulating the system for assigning appeals in disability claims to ensure Daugherty heard Conn's cases.

Daugherty worked in the Huntington, W.Va., office of the Social Security Administration. He retired in July 2011. Conn has offices in Ashland and Stanville.

The lawsuit alleges that Daugherty awarded disability payments to Conn's clients at a higher rate than other judges did.

Attempts to locate Daugherty on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Eric C. Conn said, "I have not seen any lawsuit or papers and cannot comment until I do. I can certainly say I have always tried to represent my clients in the best and most appropriate way possible within all the laws and rules. It is noteworthy that the U.S. Government studied this lawsuit for a year and a half and decided not to join it or get involved."

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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