A former Alabama Social Security Administration judge was sentenced to federal prison Wednesday for trading social security benefits for sex, according to Ala.com
Paul Stribling Conger Jr., 73, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison by U.S. District Judge Virginia Hopkins. Because of the additional one day, he will be eligible for early release.
“I’m awfully embarrassed to be standing in front of you today,” Conger said to the judge. “I’m extremely mortified to be in this particular situation.”
Court documents show in 2013, Conger was presiding over the hearing of a claimant who was approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) monthly payments and benefits. The claimant, who is only identified in records by her initials T.M., approached Conger in Nov. 2013 about receiving her retroactive benefits in a lump sum of about $10,000.
The two then engaged in a sex act and other sexual contact that day at the federal courthouse in Tuscaloosa, documents show. T.M. and Conger remained in contact by phone, and Conger invited her to return to the courthouse later that month. She didn’t go back, according to Ala.com
In Dec. 2013, the former judge began to be investigated by the Office of the Inspector General for sexual misconduct. Conger then hired an unnamed person to find and destroy T.M.’s cell phone, so there was no evidence of the sexual relations between them. Conger got the information needed to find T.M. through her SSA files that included confidential information such as medical records and her social security number. Conger told the unnamed person that he would never admit to the crime.
When federal agents interviewed Conger in June 2015, he told agents T.M. was “nuts as a fruit cake” and everything she said should be “taken with a grain of salt.”
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