Monday, October 16, 2017

SSA Announces 2% COLA Increase in 2018

Social Security checks to be 2% bigger in 2018.

Average monthly check will go up $27



NEW YORK  - Millions of Americans will get a boost to their Social Security checks next year.
The government announced a 2 percent increase to Social Security Benefits October 13. The bigger checks aim to help offset rising prices.
The average monthly check is estimated to increase to $1,404 in January -- a $27 increase from $1,377 a month.
Millions of Americans rely on Social Security to help make ends meet, and many have been struggling in the face of higher prices on essentials like health care, rent and food. Not all of the recipients are retired workers -- many are people with disabilities, or surviving spouses and children.
The 2 percent increase is the highest since 2012 when retirees got a 3.6 percent raise.
At the start of 2017, recipients saw an increase of just 0.3 percent.
In 2016, there was no increase. Over the summer, the Social Security trustees had projected a 2.2 percent increase in benefits.
Around 62 million Americans will receive around $955 billion in Social Security benefits this year, according to the Social Security Administration.
The annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) was introduced in 1975 and is based on increases in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). CPI-W tracks how much consumers pay for goods and services.
But some argue the increase is not enough to cover rising prices.
"For the tens of millions of families who depend on Social Security for all or most of their retirement income, this cost of living increase may not adequately cover expenses that rise faster than inflation including prescription drug, utility and housing costs," said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins.
The Social Security Administration also announced the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax will increase to $128,700 from $127,200.
 (  VASEL, KATHRYN, CNN Money, 13Oct2017)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Two Judges, A lawyer and A Psychchologist Walked Into A Bar (No, A Prison)



Adkins gets 25 years, $93M in fines

 A Pikeville, Kentucky, psychologist's involvement in disgraced former Attorney Eric Conn's $550 milion Social Security fraud scheme and rejection to take a plea deal will cost him 25 years behind bars and more than $93 million in fines, the U.S. Department of Justice announced September 22, 2017.
Doctor Alfred Bradley Adkins (PHd), 46, was sentenced by Lexington-based U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves of the Eastern District of Kentucky after a jury found him guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire frauds, one count of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of making false statements after a June 2017 trial.
The $93 million in restitution will be paid to the Social Security Administration and other agencies. He was also ordered to forfeit $187,600 in fees.
While Adkins was the final defendant to be sentenced in the case, the book on the largest Social Security fraud case in the nation may never close with its ringleader Conn missing after he absconded from supervision prior to his own sentencing.
As part of the complex scheme, former Huntington-based SSA Administrative Law Judge David Black Daugherty would seek out pending disability cases claimants represented by Eric Conn and assign the cases to himself.
From 2004 to 2011, Conn solicited Adkins to sign medical evaluation forms his office had previously prepared, without reviewing or even evaluating claimants. He received $350 for each approval. Conn subsequently sent the forms to Daugherty, who in turn approved the claimants' requests for disability.
Their scheme obligated SSA to pay more than $550 million in lifetime benefits to claimants. Of at least 3,149 disability cases filed by Conn, more than 1,700 have been deemed fraudulent by government investigators.
Conn paid Daugherty more than $609,000 for granting benefits and nearly $200,000 to Adkins for signing the forms. For his part, Conn received more than $7 million in attorney's fees.
Conn fled from the area prior to his sentencing and was last spotted in July at a gas station and a Walmart in New Mexico, according to the FBI, citing photos from surveillance cameras.
Despite his absence, Reeves sentenced him to 12 years in federal prison, the maximum allowed for stealing from the government through fraudulent disability claims and paying bribes to a Social Security judge.
Conn was ordered to pay more than $100 million in restitution to Social Security and Medicare, along with $5.7 million to the U.S. Department of Justice. He also received a $50,000 fine.
Daugherty, 81, was sentenced last month to a four-year federal prison sentence and to repay more than $93.8 million in restitution to the government agencies
A fourth man involved, Charlie Paul Andrus, 67, who was the chief administrative law judge in the Huntington Social Security Office, admitted to retaliation against an office whistleblower, was sentenced to serve six months in prison.
A $20,000 reward is being offered to information leading to Conn's arrest. Those with information are asked to call the FBI's Louisville, Kentucky, office at 502-263-6000.



  • Wednesday, August 30, 2017

    How Many Social Security Judges Will Go To Jail? How Many Should?


    Former Social Security judge, 81, gets prison time, must repay more than $94M

    (Above, Former SSA ALJ David Black Daugherty)
    A former administrative law judge who took payments in more than 3,100 disability cases involving a now-fugitive lawyer was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to repay more than $94 million on Friday, August 25, 2017.
    David Black Daugherty, 81, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, had admitted taking more than $609,000 cash in the scheme involving lawyer Eric Conn, according to a press release, the Lexington Herald-Leader and West Virginia Metro News. The sentence was the maximum for the two illegal gratuities charges to which Daugherty pleaded guilty.
    The bribery scheme obligated the Social Security Administration to pay more than $550 million in lifetime benefits. U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves of Lexington, Kentucky, called the sentence a “sweet deal” and said it was “not anywhere near an appropriate punishment,” according to the Herald-Leader. Prosecutors said the sentence was appropriate given Daugherty’s age and health problems.
     
    (Above Attorney , Eric Conn))
    Conn pleaded guilty in March and fled on June 2. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison in absentia. A person claiming to be Conn wrote an email saying he fled because he thought it was unfair that Daugherty and another judge convicted in connection with the scheme would get sentences that were not as long as the one he would potentially receive.
    Reeves denied Daugherty’s request to delay the start date of his prison term, the Herald-Leader reports. Reeves said Daugherty already had time to prepare for the sentence. He also noted that Daugherty had made an unsuccessful suicide attempt after his guilty plea, and he didn’t want to give him a chance to try again.
    Reeves ordered Daugherty to repay the government $609,000 for the bribes he collected, as well as $93.8 million for the improperly awarded benefits. Reeves said he doubted the money would be collected.
    Another judge, Charlie Paul Andrus, was convicted for conspiracy to retaliate against, a Whistleblower, a former employee who provided information to investigators. He was the Social Security Regional Chief Judge. He was sentenced earlier this month to six months in prison, the Herald-Leader reported.

     
     (Above, Former SSA Chief Judge Frank Cristaudo)
     The both worked for Judge Frank Cristaudo. He was the Chief Judge over all the SSA Judges. They worked for Cristaudo. He has not been charged. Instead, he took credit for what Daugherty and Andrus did, and he gor promoted. What's wrong with that picture? Is that the new America Way? The workers get convicted and go to prison? And the Boss gets promoted and lives happily ever after?

    Sunday, August 27, 2017

    SSA Judge Sentenced To 4 Years In Prison

    Former SSA Judge David Daugherty going to prison for 4 years


    LEXINGTON, KY — David Black Daugherty, the former Social Security administrative law judge who was based in Huntington, was sentenced Friday to spend four years in federal prison for his role in a multi-million dollar fraud scheme.

    Retired Social Security Administrative Law Judge David Daugherty was sentenced to 4 years in prison Friday August 25, 2017.
    Daugherty, 81, approved more than 3,000 Social Security disability cases submitted by a now convicted Kentucky lawyer in exchange for money. He pleaded guilty earlier to two counts of receiving illegal payments.
    Daugherty’s attorney asked the federal judge at Friday’s sentencing in Lexington, Kentucky, to allow his client to self-report to prison in order to give him time to help his wife adjust to the change but the judge denied the request saying Daugherty, who now lives in Myrtle Beach, had all summer to get his wife ready. The judge also said Daugherty needs to be in custody immediately because he previously attempted suicide.
    Daugherty was part of the scheme with Pikeville, Kentucky lawyer Eric Conn and Dr. Alfred Bradley Adkins, a clinical psychologist from Pikeville.
    Conn would send the cases of his clients seeking Social Security disability to Daugherty who then would approve them for the benefits. .Adkins would back the appeals with bogus medical evidence. Daugherty admitted he received $609,000 in payments as part of the scheme.
    The original indictments alleged the trio conspired to seek $600 million from the Social Security Disability Fund, regardless of whether applicants involved were qualified to receive the benefits.


    Attorney Eric Conn remains on the loose on the lam somewhere in the world.
    Conn wasn’t shy about recruiting clients. He was all over southern West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky billboards with a mannequin sitting atop the sign. He billed himself as “Mr. Social Security” and wore his position as a badge of honor in fighting for workers hurt on the job.
    Prosecutors said Conn was drawing out nearly $10,000 a month from his bank account and giving it to Daugherty to rule in favor of his clients.
    Conn, who would file all of his clients disability applications in Prestonsburg, Kentucky office to make sure Daugherty received the cases, took off before he sentenced and remains on the run. A judge still sentenced him to 12 years in prison.
    Adkins, who was convicted on several charges in June, is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 22.
    Daugherty, who was allowed to retire when the scheme originally was discovered a few years ago, wasn’t fined Friday but ordered to pay nearly $94 million in restitution. The judge admitted he doubted any of the money would ever be collected.
     By in News | August 26, 2017


    Former Social Security Administrative Law Judge Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Role in $550 Million Social Security Fraud Scheme

    A former social security administrative law judge (ALJ) was sentenced today to four years in prison for his role in a scheme to fraudulently obtain more than $550 million in federal disability payments from the Social Security Administration (SSA) for thousands of claimants.
    Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge Michael McGill of the Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General’s (SSA-OIG) Philadelphia Field Division, Special Agent in Charge Amy S. Hess of the FBI’s Louisville Field Division, Special Agent in Charge Tracey D. Montaño of the IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Nashville Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Derrick L. Jackson of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Atlanta Regional Office made the announcement.
    David Black Daugherty, 81, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves of the Eastern District of Kentucky, who also ordered Daugherty to pay restitution of over $93 million to the SSA and HHS. Daugherty pleaded guilty in May 2017 to two counts of receiving illegal gratuities.
    According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, beginning in 2004, Daugherty, as an ALJ assigned to the SSA’s Huntington, W. Va., hearing office, sought out pending disability cases in which Kentucky attorney Eric Christopher Conn represented claimants and reassigned those cases to himself. Daugherty then contacted Conn and identified the cases he intended to decide the following month and further solicited Conn to provide medical documentation supporting either physical or mental disability determinations. Without exception, Daugherty awarded disability benefits to individuals represented by Conn – in some instances, without first holding a hearing. As a result of Daugherty’s awarding disability benefits to claimants represented by Conn, Conn paid Daugherty an average of approximately $8,000 per month in cash, until approximately April 2011. All told, Daugherty received more than $609,000 in cash from Conn for deciding approximately 3,149 cases.
    As a result of the scheme, Conn, Daugherty, and their co-conspirators obligated the SSA to pay more than $550 million in lifetime benefits to claimants based upon cases Daugherty approved for which he received payment from Conn.
    Daugherty was indicted last year, along with Conn and Alfred Bradley Adkins, a clinical psychologist. The defendants were charged with conspiracy, fraud, false statements, money laundering and other related offenses in connection with the scheme.
    Conn pleaded guilty on March 24, to a two-count information charging him with theft of government money and paying illegal gratuities, and was sentenced in absentia on July 14 to 12 years in prison. Conn absconded from court ordered-electronic monitoring on June 2, and is considered a fugitive. He remains under indictment. On June 12, Adkins was convicted after a jury trial of one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of making false statements. Adkins is scheduled to be sentenced on September 22.
    The SSA-OIG, FBI, IRS-CI and HHS-OIG investigated the case. Trial Attorney Dustin M. Davis of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Trial Attorney Elizabeth G. Wright of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section are prosecuting the case, with previous co-counsel including Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford of the Western District of Missouri and Investigative Counsel Kristen M. Warden of the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector

    Tuesday, June 13, 2017

    SSA Proposes To Scrap The Treating Physician's Rule. Backlog Of Applicants For Benefits Expected To Worsen.

    New Rule May Worsen Backlog For Social Security Disability Claimants



    By the time Stephenie Hashmi of Lenexa, Kansas, was in her mid-20s, she had achieved a lifelong dream: She was the charge nurse at one of Kansas City’s largest intensive care units. But even as she cared for patients, she realized something was off with her own health.
    “I remember just feeling tired and feeling sick and hurting, and not knowing why my joints and body was hurting,” Hashmi says.
    Hashmi was diagnosed with systemic lupus, a disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs.
    She’s had surgeries and treatments, but now, at age 41, Hashmi is often bedridden. She finally had to leave her job about 6 years ago, but when she applied for Social Security disability benefits, she was denied.

    “I just started bawling. Because I felt like, if they looked at my records or read these notes, surely they would understand my situation,” Hashmi says.
    Lisa Ekman, director of government affairs for the National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives, says Hashmi’s struggle with the application process is not unusual.
    “It is not easy to get disability benefits. It’s a very complicated and difficult process,” Ekman says.
    Right now, just about 45 percent of people who apply for Social Security disability benefits are accepted, and getting a hearing takes an average of nearly 600 days.
    The Kansas City office’s average hearing time is closer to 500 days, but its approval rate is slight lower at 40 percent.
    The Backlog started snowballing about 10 years ago, around the time Jason Fichtner became acting Deputy Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA).
    He says that during the Great Recession, a lot of people who had disabilities applied but weren’t necessarily unable to work.
    “But they’re on the margin,” Fichtner says. “They can work, but when the recession happens, those are the first people who tend to lose their jobs, and then they apply for disability insurance.”
    There are now more than a million people across the country waiting for hearings. Adding to the strain, the Social Security Administration’s core operating budget has shrunk by 10 percent since 2010.
    This spring, the SSA introduced changes to fight fraud and streamline the application process, including a new fraud-fighting measure that removes the special consideration given to a person’s long-time doctor.  (This is known as The Treating Physician's Rule)
    Lisa Ekman says this is a mistake.
    “Those changes would now put the evidence from a treating physician on the same weight as evidence from a medical consultant employed to do a one-time brief examination or a medical consultant they had do a review of the paper file and may have never examined the individual,” Ekman says.
    She says this could lead to more denials for disabled people with complex conditions like lupus, multiple sclerosis or schizophrenia. These illnesses can affect patients in very different ways and may be hard for an outside doctor or nurse to assess.
    She says more denials will lead to more appeals, which will only increase the backlog. 
    She is correct. The Treating Physician's Opinion is controlling.
    https://judgelondonsteverson.me/2016/06/24/the-treating-physician-rule-is-controlling/
    But former administrator Fichtner, now a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, says the SSA is obligated to weed out any fraud it can, including the admittedly rare cases of treating physicians tipping the scale in favor of their patients.
    He says the SSA can still prioritize applicants.
    “For patients that are really in dire condition and really have major disabilities, I don’t think they have to worry about this rule change,” Fichtner says.
    He acknowledges, however, that the backlog needs attention and says the agency has safeguards to monitor whether the rule is working.
    Back in her kitchen in Lenexa, Stephenie Hashmi’s husband Shawn prepares a family dinner she won’t be able to eat because she’s having problems with her esophagus.
    Stephenie puts on a brave smile, but the progression of her illness and the ordeal with Social Security have made her increasingly pessimistic.
    After several rejections, she’s now on her final appeal. Her hearing is scheduled for November – of   2018.

    Tuesday, May 16, 2017

    ALJ Dave Dauherty Was Chief Judge Frank Cristaudo's Secret Weapon



    The 81-year-old David Black Daugherty pleaded guilty Friday May 13, 2017 in federal court in Lexington to two counts of taking illegal gratuities. Daugherty agreed to pay the government $609,000 as part of his plea.
                                           (Above, see Judge David Black Daugherty)
    But Judge Daugherty worked for Frank Cristaudo, who was the Chief Administrative Law Judge. (CALJ). 
                                          (Above, see SSA CALJ Frank Cristaudo)

    They both worked for Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue.
                                     (Above, see SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue)
    Judge Daugherty was working to eliminate the "back log".
    The Chief Administrative Law Judge had and has day-to-day oversight of all of SSA's's hearing operations.
    Judge Cristaudo testified before Congress that he wanted to implement a comprehensive plan to eliminate the backlog of hearings. By eliminating the backlog, he would improve hearing office productivity and the timeliness of SSA hearings and decisions.
    Judges like ALJ Dave Daugherty were at the heart of his operation. He testified that he would be monitoring the workloads of these Judges and their cases carefully.
    He had selected a number of excellent judges including Judge Daugherty. He needed more judges like Judge Daugherty who were well-suited to SSA's type of work - judges who were capable of thriving under the workload demands of SSA's high-volume, electronic hearing operation. Judge Daugherty was the most prolific high producer that he had.
    After successfully eliminating SSA's 1,000 or more day-old cases in FY 2007, he focused on reducing the 900 or more day-old cases by the end of FY 2008.  He testified that he believed a backlog of aged cases interfered with the normal hearing office workflow. Productivity was up because of Judge Daugherty and others who decided cases without holding Hearings.  The new judges  were trained by the highest-producing judges in SSA's ALJ corps, judges like Judge Dave Daugherty.
    The complete text of Chief Judge Frank Cristaudo's testimony can be read at:
    (See   https://www.ssa.gov/legislation/testimony_091608.html)
    Wasteful and fraudulent disability payments are well-documented problems, but a congressional probe has found that they often result when administrative law judges (ALJ) in the federal bureaucracy approve previously rejected claims.
    The Social Security Administration (SSA) discovered deficiencies in appeals decisions from every ALJ it has reviewed since 2011, according to a report by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
    All 48 of the individual reviews found the ALJs wrongly evaluated applicants’ ability to work and discounted drug addiction or alcoholism, among other missteps.
    Congressional investigators built on a June 2014 report that conducted three case studies of ALJs who "rubber-stamped" almost every appeal they evaluated. By granting disability benefits to just 100 people who aren’t actually disabled, the trio added $30 million to the federal budget.
    The 1,400 judges who handled disability appeals handed out benefits to more than 3.2 million people between 2005 and 2013, granting the requests of more than half of all applicants at a cost of nearly $1 trillion.
    What’s more, investigators discovered 191 judges had approved 85 percent or more of the appealed applications that came across their desks.
    The only way SSA gauged the performance of the judges was by adding up the number of cases a judge oversaw in a given time period, according to May 2013 testimony by Frank Cristaudo, a former chief administrative law judge.
    Another top judge testified in October 2013 that granting more than 75 or 80 percent of appeals should raise a “red flag” about the reliability of those decisions.
    But awarding benefits takes “significantly less time” than denying them, the report said.

    The probe uncovered a 2012 internal review in which SSA found that the more cases judges had to decide, the less reliable their decisions were. That review found the overall accuracy of appeals decisions began to fall once judges ruled on 600 or more cases a year.
    Even so, SSA allowed dozens of judges to decide more than 1,000 cases every year, the report said.
    Without conducting any research into how long appeals decisions should actually take, Cristaudo enforced policies that compelled judges to process between 500 and 700 cases every year, the report said.
    SSA allowed “overwhelming evidence of incompetence” among its judges to continue by focusing solely on pushing as many cases as possible through the system, regardless of whether they were handled correctly, the report concluded.
     But Frank Cristaudo, was Chief Administrative Law Judge. (CALJ) when Judge Daugherty was working to eliminate the "back log".
    The Chief Administrative Law Judge had and has day-to-day oversight of all of SSA's's hearing operation.
    Judge Cristaudo testified before Congress that he wanted to implement a comprehensive plan to eliminate the backlog of hearings. By eliminating the backlog, he would improve hearing office productivity and the timeliness of SSA hearings and decisions.
    Judges like ALJ Dave Daugherty were at the heart of his operation. He testified that he would be monitoring the workloads of these Judges and their cases carefully.
    He had selected a number of excellent judges including Judge Daugherty. He needed more judges like Judge Daugherty who were well-suited to SSA's type of work - judges who were capable of thriving under the workload demands of SSA's high-volume, electronic hearing operation. Judge Daugherty was the most prolific high producer that he had.
    After successfully eliminating SSA's 1,000 or more day-old cases in FY 2007, he focused on reducing the 900 or more day-old cases by the end of FY 2008.  He testified that he believed a backlog of aged cases interfered with the normal hearing office workflow. Productivity was up because of Judge Daugherty and others who decided cases without holding Hearings.  The new judges  were trained by the highest-producing judges in SSA's ALJ corps, like Judge Dave Daugherty.
    The complete text of Chief Judge Frank Cristaudo's testimony can be read at:
    (See   https://www.ssa.gov/legislation/testimony_091608.html)

    SSA Bribery Judge Was Social Security's Highest Producer

    A former Social Security Administration judge from Huntington has pleaded guilty to taking more than $600,000 in bribes in cases involving clients of Kentucky lawyer Eric C. Conn, who is facing prison time for a scheme to defraud the government of nearly $600 million in disability payments.
    The 81-year-old David Black Daugherty pleaded guilty Friday May 13, 2017 in federal court in Lexington to two counts of taking illegal gratuities. Daugherty agreed to pay the government $609,000 as part of his plea.
                                           (Above, see Judge David Black Daugherty)
    But Judge Daugherty worked for Frank Cristaudo, who was the Chief Administrative Law Judge. (CALJ). 
                                          (Above, see SSA CALJ Frank Cristaudo)

    They both worked for Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue.
                                     (Above, see SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue)
    Judge Daugherty was working to eliminate the "back log".
    The Chief Administrative Law Judge had and has day-to-day oversight of all of SSA's's hearing operations.
    Judge Cristaudo testified before Congress that he wanted to implement a comprehensive plan to eliminate the backlog of hearings. By eliminating the backlog, he would improve hearing office productivity and the timeliness of SSA hearings and decisions.
    Judges like ALJ Dave Daugherty were at the heart of his operation. He testified that he would be monitoring the workloads of these Judges and their cases carefully.
    He had selected a number of excellent judges including Judge Daugherty. He needed more judges like Judge Daugherty who were well-suited to SSA's type of work - judges who were capable of thriving under the workload demands of SSA's high-volume, electronic hearing operation. Judge Daugherty was the most prolific high producer that he had.
    After successfully eliminating SSA's 1,000 or more day-old cases in FY 2007, he focused on reducing the 900 or more day-old cases by the end of FY 2008.  He testified that he believed a backlog of aged cases interfered with the normal hearing office workflow. Productivity was up because of Judge Daugherty and others who decided cases without holding Hearings.  The new judges  were trained by the highest-producing judges in SSA's ALJ corps, judges like Judge Dave Daugherty.
    The complete text of Chief Judge Frank Cristaudo's testimony can be read at:
    (See   https://www.ssa.gov/legislation/testimony_091608.html)
    Daugherty faces a maximum sentence of four years. Sentencing is scheduled for August 25, 2017.
    The case involved thousands of clients of Conn, who also has pleaded guilty. He is scheduled to be sentenced in July and faces 12 years in prison. Conn has agreed to pay $5.7 million to the government and pay $46.5 million to the Social Security Administration.
    The investigation focused on actions between 2006 and 2011, a time when Conn earned millions with Social Security cases and Daugherty became one of the most prolific administrative law judges both in number of cases over which he presided and the staggering rate at which he approved benefits, which neared almost 100 percent. He was a "high producer" for Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue.
    Conn promoted himself as "Mr. Social Security" and built a large practice from his offices along U.S. 23 in Floyd County, Kentucky, where a replica of the Lincoln Memorial still stands in the parking lot.
    Daugherty allegedly assigned Conn's cases to himself in Huntington against court policy and communicated with Conn as to what types of medical records he would need to have to approve benefits in the cases. In his criminal plea agreement, Attorney Conn said Judge Daugherty in October 2004 asked him for $5,000 to pay for addiction treatment for a family member, the Herald-Leader reported. Daugherty confirmed that account in his plea Friday, the newspaper said.
    Conn then began to pay Daugherty $10,000 each month, according to the plea agreement.
    At one time, Daugherty was approving benefits at a 99.7 percent rate, while the national average was below 70 percent.
    The scheme came to national attention in 2013 when two employees at the Huntington Social Security office, along with some of Conn's employees, testified before the U.S. Senate after a two-year Homeland Security investigation.
    A congressional report showed Daugherty awarded $2.5 billion in lifetime benefits to Conn's clients and others during his final years on the bench.
    Beyond the abuse of federal dollars, the case continues to affect hundreds of people in western West Virginia and eastern Kentucky who went to Conn's firm to seek disability benefits. Once criminal charges were filed against the lawyer, the Social Security Administration reviewed about 1,500 cases handled by Conn, and lawyers estimate about 800 people have lost their benefits.
    Daugherty was suspended when the allegations surfaced and was allowed to retire. The West Virginia Bar Association stripped Daugherty of his law license in 2014, and he relocated to Myrtle Beach shortly thereafter. But SSA cannot take his pension away.
    The Huntington native had been an administrative judge for Social Security since 1990, following a varied judicial and political career in Cabell County.
    The son of Judge Russell Daugherty, he was a graduate of Marshall University and the West Virginia College of Law and was elected to the House of Delegates from Cabell County in 1968 and 1970. He served as a circuit court judge from 1978 until 1984.

    Organized Crime at The SSA

    U.S.: Ex-Judge Pleads Guilty in Major Social Security Fraud Case



    Social Security Administration Judge David Daugerty, (USALJ Ret.), now a former judge pleaded guilty on May 13, 2017 for taking money from a Kentucky lawyer, Eric Conn,  to approve hundreds of fraudulent disability cases in a scheme that stripped the government of more than US$550 million in disability payments.
    Social Security Administration OfficeU.S. Social Security Administration (Photo: SSA-OIG)Judge David B. Daugherty, 81, who was once an administrative law judge (ALJ), approved more than 1,700 bogus disability cases filed by Eric C. Conn, a lawyer in eastern Kentucky, obligating the government to pay out more than half a billion dollars in lifetime benefits.
    Conn, who dubbed himself “Mr. Social Security,” collected more than $7 million in payments for filing bogus applications from 2004 to 2011, and paid Daugherty $609,000 during that time.
    "This admission that a judge in a position of trust took over a half-million dollars in cash from a crooked lawyer is outrageous," said Sam Johnson, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
    "This case proves once again that more needs to be done to stop disability fraud across America. I’m committed to working with my colleagues to help protect taxpayer dollars and prevent disability fraud."
    Conn pleaded guilty earlier this year for submitting false IQ tests and having a doctor who worked for him stamp bogus medical diagnosis for many of his clients.
    He has agreed to pay US$5.7 million to the government and US$45.5 million to the Social Security Administration. His sentencing is scheduled for July where he could face up to 12 years in prison.
    Daugherty, who was arrested in April, will pay the government US$609,000 and faces a maximum of four years in prison. He will be sentenced in August.

    The 81-year-old David Black Daugherty pleaded guilty Friday May 13, 2017 in federal court in Lexington to two counts of taking illegal gratuities. Daugherty agreed to pay the government $609,000 as part of his plea.
                                           (Above, see Judge David Black Daugherty)
    But Judge Daugherty worked for Frank Cristaudo, who was the Chief Administrative Law Judge. (CALJ). 
                                          (Above, see SSA CALJ Frank Cristaudo)

    They both worked for Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue.
                                     (Above, see SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue)
    Judge Daugherty was working to eliminate the "back log".
    The Chief Administrative Law Judge had and has day-to-day oversight of all of SSA's's hearing operations.
    Judge Cristaudo testified before Congress that he wanted to implement a comprehensive plan to eliminate the backlog of hearings. By eliminating the backlog, he would improve hearing office productivity and the timeliness of SSA hearings and decisions.
    Judges like ALJ Dave Daugherty were at the heart of his operation. He testified that he would be monitoring the workloads of these Judges and their cases carefully.
    He had selected a number of excellent judges including Judge Daugherty. He needed more judges like Judge Daugherty who were well-suited to SSA's type of work - judges who were capable of thriving under the workload demands of SSA's high-volume, electronic hearing operation. Judge Daugherty was the most prolific high producer that he had.
    After successfully eliminating SSA's 1,000 or more day-old cases in FY 2007, he focused on reducing the 900 or more day-old cases by the end of FY 2008.  He testified that he believed a backlog of aged cases interfered with the normal hearing office workflow. Productivity was up because of Judge Daugherty and others who decided cases without holding Hearings.  The new judges  were trained by the highest-producing judges in SSA's ALJ corps, judges like Judge Dave Daugherty.
    The complete text of Chief Judge Frank Cristaudo's testimony can be read at:
    (See   https://www.ssa.gov/legislation/testimony_091608.html)
    Disability fraud appears to be on the rise, with some of the biggest scams being detected in recent years such as the 2014 scheme involving 100 ex-police officers and firemen from New York who filed false mental illness claims in order to receive federal benefits costing the Social Security system hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Judge Daugherty Pleads Guilty To Taking Bribes

    A Social Security Administration (SSA)  Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) involved in one of the biggest Social Security frauds in history pleaded guilty Friday, 13 May 2017 admitting that he helped scam the federal government out of potentially more than half a billion dollars in bogus disability payments.
    David B. Daugherty, a former administrative law judge, approved at least 3,149 disability cases filed by a single lawyer in eastern Kentucky. More than 1,700 of those have been deemed fraudulent by government investigators, obligating the government to pay out more than $550 million in lifetime benefits.
    Daugherty pleaded guilty to two counts of receiving illegal gratuities. The charge is similar to bribery, though the payoff is made after the fact, not before.
    “This admission that a judge in a position of trust took over a half-million dollars in cash from a crooked lawyer is outrageous,” said Rep. Sam Johnson, chairman of the House Ways and Means subcommittee that oversees the program. “This case proves once again that more needs to be done to stop disability fraud across America. I’m committed to working with my colleagues to help protect taxpayer dollars and prevent disability fraud.”
    Disability fraud appears to be growing, with some of the biggest scams being detected in recent years. But the one Daugherty was involved in was staggering in its brazenness.
    The 81-year-old David Black Daugherty pleaded guilty Friday May 13, 2017 in federal court in Lexington to two counts of taking illegal gratuities. Daugherty agreed to pay the government $609,000 as part of his plea.
                                           (Above, see Judge David Black Daugherty)
    But Judge Daugherty worked for Frank Cristaudo, who was the Chief Administrative Law Judge. (CALJ). 
                                          (Above, see SSA CALJ Frank Cristaudo)

    They both worked for Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue.
                                     (Above, see SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue)
    Judge Daugherty was working to eliminate the "back log".
    The Chief Administrative Law Judge had and has day-to-day oversight of all of SSA's's hearing operations.
    Judge Cristaudo testified before Congress that he wanted to implement a comprehensive plan to eliminate the backlog of hearings. By eliminating the backlog, he would improve hearing office productivity and the timeliness of SSA hearings and decisions.
    Judges like ALJ Dave Daugherty were at the heart of his operation. He testified that he would be monitoring the workloads of these Judges and their cases carefully.
    He had selected a number of excellent judges including Judge Daugherty. He needed more judges like Judge Daugherty who were well-suited to SSA's type of work - judges who were capable of thriving under the workload demands of SSA's high-volume, electronic hearing operation. Judge Daugherty was the most prolific high producer that he had.
    After successfully eliminating SSA's 1,000 or more day-old cases in FY 2007, he focused on reducing the 900 or more day-old cases by the end of FY 2008.  He testified that he believed a backlog of aged cases interfered with the normal hearing office workflow. Productivity was up because of Judge Daugherty and others who decided cases without holding Hearings.  The new judges  were trained by the highest-producing judges in SSA's ALJ corps, judges like Judge Dave Daugherty.
    The complete text of Chief Judge Frank Cristaudo's testimony can be read at:
    (See   https://www.ssa.gov/legislation/testimony_091608.html)
    Judge Daugherty instructed Attorney Conn on how to write up bogus applications so he could approve them without ever needing to have the applicants appear for an in-person hearing, according to court documents, speeding the process along.
    Conn, who pleaded guilty earlier this year, admitted he submitted false IQ tests and had the doctors rubber stamp bogus medical diagnoses for many of his clients.
    Federal prosecutors said rejections of bad applications, if they ever happened, were rare.
    Conn collected more than $7 million in payments for filing bogus applications while the scam was operating from 2004 to 2011, and paid Daugherty $609,000 during that time.
    They would meet in the parking lot of a restaurant or gas station so Conn could hand over the cash, which was carefully structured to keep just under the level that might draw attention from financial regulators, according to court documents.
    At a rate of nearly $100,000, Daugherty was adding a tremendous supplement to his annual pay as an administrative law judge. In 2004 they averaged $137,000 a year, rising to $155,000 in 2011, according to FederalPay.org.
    Conn, in his case, had said Daugherty was the orchestrator, with the administrative law judge first approaching the lawyer and making clear he had an extraordinary amount of power over Conn’s cases.
    Conn’s plea agreement said Daugherty suggested an initial $5,000 payment, which he said was to help a relative in rehab. The two men later worked out an arrangement to pay for each approved application.
    Social Security officials testified to Mr. Johnson’s subcommittee last month that they can’t give even a ballpark estimate for how much fraud exists in the $150 billion-a-year disability program.
    The program told The Washington Times that it has gone back and disapproved more than half of the applications filed — but officials would not say whether they’ve stopped the payments, nor whether they have been able to claw any of the mis-paied money back.
    Sean Brune, assistant deputy commissioner at the Social Security Administration’s budget office, also said during last month’s hearing that the SSA doesn’t have the power to strip Daugherty of his government pension.
    We do not have under current statute authority to revoke his pension,” he said.
    Still, Mr. Brune said that the former judge if convicted the court can order restitution, meaning his pension could be garnished to cover those costs.
    Rep. Tom Rice, a South Carolina Republican who said the former judge is now living in his district in Myrtle Beach, asked if Congress should pass a law to cancel pensions of Social Security employees who abet fraud.
    “We’d be happy to talk to you about that,” Mr. Brune said.
    Daugherty will be sentenced Aug. 25, 2017.

     
    - The Washington Times - Sunday, May 14, 2017)

    SSA ALJ Pleads Guilty

    Former administrative law judge pleads guilty to taking bribes in $550M disability fraud scheme



    Share18
    A former Social Security Administration (SSA) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) pleaded guilty on  May 13, 2017 to taking more than $609,000 in bribes from a disability lawyer who called himself “Mr. Social Security.”
    The former judge, ALJ David Black Daugherty, 81, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to two counts of receiving illegal gratuities, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice and stories by the Washington Times and the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader.
    Daugherty, who heard cases in West Virginia, was accused of taking payments to make favorable rulings in more than 3,100 cases for clients represented by Kentucky lawyer Eric Conn, obligating the government to pay more than $550 million in lifetime disability payments.
    Conn, who once called himself “Mr. Social Security,” pleaded guilty in March. He is scheduled to be sentenced in July, according to the Herald-Leader.
    Daugherty admitted he sought out Conn’s cases, told him what type of medical evidence to submit, and awarded benefits without holding hearings. Daugherty accepted the illegal payments between November 2004 to April 2011, according to the press release.
    The government is holding new hearings to determine whether the claimants in the cases are entitled to benefits. More than half of the applications have since been disapproved, according to the Washington Times. Many have unfortunately committed suicide.
    The actual payout by the Social Security Administration in the cases was $46.5 million, an amount that Conn promised to pay the government. He also promised to pay $5.7 million, representing the fees he earned in the cases.
    Daugherty has agreed to pay the government $609,000. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 25. The charges carry a maximum prison sentence of four years, according to the Herald-Leader.
    Charges are still pending against a psychologist accused of falsifying mental impairment evaluations.
     (By Debra Cassens Weiss)

    The 81-year-old David Black Daugherty pleaded guilty Friday May 13, 2017 in federal court in Lexington to two counts of taking illegal gratuities. Daugherty agreed to pay the government $609,000 as part of his plea.
                                           (Above, see Judge David Black Daugherty)
    But Judge Daugherty worked for Frank Cristaudo, who was the Chief Administrative Law Judge. (CALJ). 
                                          (Above, see SSA CALJ Frank Cristaudo)

    They both worked for Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue.
                                     (Above, see SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue)
    Judge Daugherty was working to eliminate the "back log".
    The Chief Administrative Law Judge had and has day-to-day oversight of all of SSA's's hearing operations.
    Judge Cristaudo testified before Congress that he wanted to implement a comprehensive plan to eliminate the backlog of hearings. By eliminating the backlog, he would improve hearing office productivity and the timeliness of SSA hearings and decisions.
    Judges like ALJ Dave Daugherty were at the heart of his operation. He testified that he would be monitoring the workloads of these Judges and their cases carefully.
    He had selected a number of excellent judges including Judge Daugherty. He needed more judges like Judge Daugherty who were well-suited to SSA's type of work - judges who were capable of thriving under the workload demands of SSA's high-volume, electronic hearing operation. Judge Daugherty was the most prolific high producer that he had.
    After successfully eliminating SSA's 1,000 or more day-old cases in FY 2007, he focused on reducing the 900 or more day-old cases by the end of FY 2008.  He testified that he believed a backlog of aged cases interfered with the normal hearing office workflow. Productivity was up because of Judge Daugherty and others who decided cases without holding Hearings.  The new judges  were trained by the highest-producing judges in SSA's ALJ corps, judges like Judge Dave Daugherty.
    The complete text of Chief Judge Frank Cristaudo's testimony can be read at:
    (See   https://www.ssa.gov/legislation/testimony_091608.html)

    Tuesday, May 2, 2017

    Granny Kills and Steals, She Killed Husband, Then Collected His Social Security Benefits

    Woman indicted for receiving SSI benefits for husband she killed

    A federal grand jury last week indicted Opal Elaine Tillman  for fraudulently claiming nearly $168,000 in Social Security widow’s benefits on the death of a husband she killed, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Robert O. Posey and Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Special Agent in Charge Margaret Moore-Jackson. A six-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges Opal Elaine Tillman, 71, of Morris, with five counts of wire fraud for causing the SSA to wire benefit payments, which Tillman was not entitled to receive, to her account at Regions Bank in Jefferson County between May 2012 and September 2016. Count Six of the indictment charges Tillman with theft of government property for stealing more than $100,000 from the SSA. The indictment seeks to have Tillman forfeit $167,830 to the government.
    According to the indictment, Tillman was convicted in Alabama in June 1988 for killing her husband, Walter R. Tillman, on March 1, 1987. The month he died, Opal Tillman applied for Social Security Title II benefits on her husband’s work record. Title II benefits encompass old age, survivor and disability insurance payments. In her application Tillman wrote a statement acknowledging that she understood that “if I am convicted of felonious homicide any social security monies I receive on Mr. Tillman’s Social security record will constitute an over-payment and I will be liable to repay this money,” according to the indictment. She then requested monthly benefits for her and her children to begin as soon as possible.
    While Opal Tillman was in prison in November 1988, the SSA notified her of an over-payment of benefits and explained: “A person who has been convicted of the felonious and intentional homicide of a wage earner cannot be entitled to monthly benefits, underpayments, or the lump-sum death payment on the earnings record of that wage earner,” according to the indictment.
    Opal Tillman was released from prison into the Jefferson County Community Corrections Program in December 1996.
    In October 2009, she applied by telephone to the SSA for widow’s benefits on the work record of Walter Roderick Tillman, according to the indictment. Opal Tillman provided her deceased husband’s Social Security number, dates of birth and death, and verification of their marriage for the application, the indictment charges.
    Opal Tillman began receiving benefits Nov. 9, 2009, on the work record of the man she killed, according to the indictment. The monthly benefits continued until Sept. 14, 2016.
    The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for theft of government property is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
    An indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

    In an unrelated case, Opal Elaine Tillman was arrested in 2015 on charges that she stole stole more than $60l,000 from an elderly couple she was supposed to be caring for. In that case, she pleaded guilty last month to financial exploitation of the elderly and was sentenced to 10 years in prison with 18 months to serve.
    Tillman was convicted in Mobile in June 1988 for killing her husband, Walter R. Tillman, on March 1, 1987. The month he died, according to federal authorities, his widow applied for Social Security Title II benefits on her husband's work record. Title II benefits encompass old age, survivor and disability insurance payments. According to the U.S. Attorney's press release, Tillman wrote in her application "if I am convicted of felonious homicide, any social security monies I receive on Mr. Tillman's Social Security record will constitute an overpayment and I will be liable to repay this money." She then asked that the monthly benefits to her and her children begin as soon as possible.
    While Tillman was in prison in November 1988, the SSA notified her of an overpayment of benefits. They explained to her, "A person who has been convicted of the felonious and intentional homicide of a wage earner cannot be entitled to monthly benefits, underpayments, or the lump-sum death payment on the earnings reord of that wage earner."
    Tillman was sentenced to 35 years in prison for her husband's death, but in December 1996 was released from prison into the Jefferson County Community Corrections program.
    In 2009, federal authorities say, she applied by telephone to the SSA for widow's benefits on the work record of her dead husband. For the application, she provided his Social Security number, dates of birth and death, and verification of their marriage. She began receiving those benefits on Nov. 9, 2009 on the work record of the man she killed, according to the indictment. Those monthly payments continued until Sept. 14, 2016.
    The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a $250.000 fine. The maximum penalty for theft of government property is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


    "I think there is a special place for people that take advantage of our senior citizens,'' Chief Deputy Randy Christian said of Opal Elaine Tillman's arrest.
    Two years ago, Tillman was working as a housekeeper and caregiver for an elderly Jefferson County couple. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office received a complaint that she had stolen cash and property from an 87-year-old woman and her husband.
    Family members told investigators they had noticed several suspicious transactions on the victims' checking account. Tillman had been working as a housekeeper for the victims in 2011 on a part-time basis, but had taken on more responsibilities as the wife's health declined.
    In all, authorities said, Tillman stole more than $60l,000 from the couple. "I think there is a special place for people that take advantage of our senior citizens, most especially those placed in a position of trust," Jefferson County sheriff's Chief Deputy Randy Christian said at the time.
    Tillman pleaded guilty to those charges on April 4, 2017. She is currently listed as an inmate at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women. Alabama Department of Corrections records indicate her parole on the murder charge has been revoked. Her minimum release date is 2023, but she will come up for a parole hearing next year on the state charges.
    A trial date on the new, federal charges has not been announced.

    Tuesday, April 11, 2017

    New Life In Taekwondo, From White Belt to 3rd Degree Black


    My New Life in Taekwondo began as one on the outside of Taekwondo and main stream America.
    Back in 1963, I was a young black man, a senior at an all black Woodstock High School, in Memphis, Tennessee. I wanted to write a senior term paper on the topic of martial arts. The school had only a small library with a limited selection of books. There were no books on karate,Taekwondo, judo, aikido, or kung fu in the school library. In fact there were no books at all on martial arts. When I inquired concerning any other library that I could possibly use for my research, the school librarian, Mrs. R. J. Roddy, informed me that there was a public library in Memphis, TN. It was a much bigger one, and it had a large selection of books on many topics, but it was "For whites only". Before I lost all hope for his term paper, Mrs. R. J. Roddy told me, she could call the librarian in that other “whites only” library and see what books they had on the subject. It turned out that there were quite a few books on the martial arts. The library sent over a two page list of titles. After looking through the list, I picked out some books that I thought I could use as references. Mrs. R. J. Roddy called back and told the librarian which books I wanted. The books were sent to my school by special delivery. I do not remember whether these books were the only books sent to my school, but looking back, I am amazed at what lengths they were willing to go to keep me out of the Memphis Public Library. But unbeknownst to me and to everyone around me, a little seed was planted in my heart and soul. That seed grew and grew until it consumed my entire spirit.I would not rest; I could not be satisfied until I had satisfied this hunger deep in my soul for the Oriental Fighting Arts, particularly the Korean Killing art of Taekwondo.
    TaeKwonDo is one of the most systematic and scientific Korean traditional martial arts, that teaches more than physical fighting skills. It is a discipline that shows ways of enhancing your spirit and life through training your body and mind. 
    Today, it has become a global sport that has gained an international reputation, and stands among the official games in the Olympics.
    Taekwondo is a way of life, much like having a job, raising a family, fighting for a cause, or any one of numerous raison d'etre. What makes Taekwondo different from these is that it is an activity for survival in extremely antagonistic situations. 
    One must always overcome the enemy that is trying to cause harm. But simply winning a fight is not enough to guarantee one's safety, because the enemy may recuperate and attack again. Moreover, there may be many other enemies than the one that was just defeated. One cannot ever feel safe unless one gains permanent peace. 
    To attain this permanent or lasting peace, one needs unity. This is what Taekwondo aims for. Otherwise Taekwondo would be no different from any other street-fighting skills. 
    "Tae" means "foot," "leg," or "to step on"; "Kwon" means "fist," or "fight"; and "Do" means the "way" or "discipline." If we put these three parts together, we can see two important concepts behind "Tae Kwon Do".
     First, Taekwondo is the right way of using Tae and Kwon 'fists and feet,' or all the parts of the body that are represented by fists and feet. Second, it is a way to control or calm down fights and keep the peace. This concept comes from the meaning of Tae Kwon 'to put fists under control' [or 'to step on fists']. Thus Taekwondo means "the right way of using all parts of the body to stop fights and help to build a better and more peaceful world."


    Master Dennis Kim, USTigers’ Secret Weapon


    Champions are made, not born. It takes a family to produce a potential champion; and an old Chinese Proverb says that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. When Brandon Ivey, Christian Yun, and Josh Liu and other champions from the USTigers Taekwondo School were ready, the master teacher appeared. That teacher is Master Dennis Kim from the USTigers World Taekwondo Federation School of Taekwondo, Haymarket, VA. Master Dennis is also an Olympic coach to the USA International Taekwondo Olympic Team.


    (Master Dennis Kim with the 2013 Washington,DC Sparring Champion’s Trophy)



    He has been recognized by the Governor of the State of Virginia for his contributions to the State of Virginia.




    Master Dennis was appointed an advisory member of theWorld Taekwondo Federation Headquarters at Kukkiwon in Seoul, Korea.





     Josh Liu has been a member of the USA Taekwondo Cadet National Team multiple times. Most recently, he represented USA at teh Cadet World Taekwondo Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan in July, 2014.
    http://cgacriticalthinkers.blogspot.com/2014/04/brandon-ivey-has-reclaimed-world.html
    On March 23, 2014 Brando Ivey represented the USA in the World WTF Taekwondo Championship Tournament in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China. He defeated FIVE heavy weight black belt fighters from various countries around the World. It was a single elimination tournament and Brandon went undefeated.
    (Master Dennis Kim, above far right, with his twin brother Master Alex Kim, left foreground, and  Brandon Ivey, 2014 Junior World Heavyweight Taekwondo Black Belt Champion.)

    Brandon Ivey has studied the Taekwondo art since he was 7, learning “the way of the fist and the foot” and its tenets of discipline and respect from Master Dennis Kim.
    “He wants to win so bad, he’s willing to go that extra mile to make it happen,” said Kim, owner of the US Tigers school and a coach for USA Taekwondo, the sport’s governing body in this country. “His desire to win is greater than anyone else I’ve ever trained.”
    http://www.loudountimes.com/sports/article/the_path_to_the_top_ivey_brings_world_junior_taekwondo_championship_home
    A Blogger commented that the USTigers’ website doesn’t do them justice. Current students of USTigers have the privilege of being steeped in raw potential: all instructors at USTigers are Kukkiwon-certified fourth-degree black belts or higher, and have competed at national or international levels in Taekwondo, either in Poomsae (forms) or competition sparring. Regular classes over the past four weeks have been taught by Masters Charlie and Kyle, both friendly and vibrant characters who clearly possess skill enough to teach even higher-degree black belts and an earnestness to teach that makes even the newest beginner feel welcome. USTigers also apparently has very close ties to Phoenix Taekwondo, another local dojang, and Phoenix’s excellent instructors (namely Masters Won and Jeong) have visited to teach classes. Upon simple conversation with Master Dennis Kim, the proprietor of USTigers, it is clear that he is much more concerned with instilling the values and skills of Taekwondo in his students than he is with extracting their pocketbooks. The system of payment works much more similarly to a gym than to other dojang that the reviewer has visited: students pay once a month and are allowed to attend as often or as little as they like, with there being a class to attend nearly every day of the week. However, the belt-testing system occurs and is paid for separately, and not attending classes will probably have an effect on the length of time it takes to be allowed to escalate in belt level. Finally, USTigers has the gamut of competitive teams: a sparring team (the S.E.T or Sparring Elite Team), a Poomsae team, and a Demonstration team. Practices and qualification for these teams are both extremely rigorous, and has as a result produced several outstanding members. The S.E.T, especially, has seen a two-time United States Junior Olympic team member, as well as a Virginia State Champion in Taekwondo; Master Dennis is, himself, an assistant coach on the United States National Team for Taekwondo. 
    https://plus.google.com/110303337633094796208/about


     As a 10-year-old, Christian Yun envisioned big plans for himself in the Taekwondo realm—he craved a spot on the U.S. Junior National Taekwondo Team. It was a five-year process, but Christian finally achieved that goal.
    From the beginning, Christian has trained with Master Dennis Kim, owner of USTigers Taekwondo, for about 12 hours per week Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The student/coach relationship has lasted eight years and is ongoing.
    Originally, Kim’s business was based in Ashburn. He later opened another location in Gainesville and operated both schools until 2010, when he handed over the Ashburn location, which is now called Phoenix Taekwondo. He now solely works out of the Gainesville location, which is still titled USTigers.
    Christian’s sessions with Kim resemble those of CrossFit, a core strength and conditioning program. “My belief is that if you don’t have the body for it, you just won’t succeed, so we work on their body a lot,” Kim said, noting his students don’t spend the majority of their workouts kicking and punching, despite stereotypes.
    The vigorous training has obviously been worth it, as Christian has competed on the regional, state and, of course, national level.
     http://www.leesburgtoday.com/news/article_e18824b4-d1e9-11e1-a20d-0019bb2963f4.html?TNNoMobile




    Brandon Ivey is the first Heavyweight Black Belt Taekwondo Champion from America since 1986. He is a junior at Briar Woods High School in Ashburn, Virginia.

    Champions are made, not born. It takes a family to produce a potential champion; and an old Chinese Proverb says that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. When Brandon was ready, his master teacher appeared. That teacher is Master Dennis Kim from the USTigers World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) School of Taekwondo, Haymarket, VA.
    On March 23 Brandon Ivey represented the USA in the World WTF Taekwondo Championship Tournament in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China. He defeated FIVE heavy weight black belt fighters from various countries around the World. It was a single elimination tournament and Brandon went undefeated. All of his fights were razor-edge close. The final match was a sudden death overtime match against Hamza Kattan of Jordan. Brandon won the match 5-4. His opponents were champions from the republic of the Philippines, Azerbaijzan, Spain, Russia, and Jordan.

    Meet Brandon Ivey the first Heavyweight Black Belt Taekwondo Champion from America since 1986. He is a junior at Briar Woods High School in Ashburn, Virginia.
     http://voices.yahoo.com/dare-great-brandon-ivey-story-12637523.html?cat=37http://voices.yahoo.com/dare-great-brandon-ivey-story-12637523.html?cat=37
    Champions are made, not born. It takes a family to produce a potential champion; and an old Chinese Proverb says that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. When Brandon was ready, his master teacher appeared. That teacher is Master Dennis Kim from the USTigers World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) School of Taekwondo, Haymarket, VA.
     On March 23 Brando Ivey represented the USA in the World WTF Taekwondo Championship Tournament in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China. He defeated FIVE heavy weight black belt fighters from various countries around the World. It was a single elimination tournament and Brandon went undefeated. All of his fights were razor-edge close. The final match was a sudden death overtime match against Hamza Kattan of Jordan. Brandon won the match 5-4. His opponents were champions from the republic of the Philippines, Azerbaijzan, Spain, Russia, and Jordan.
    After such a grueling ordeal, Brandon was quoted as saying "Greatness is not some elusive, esoteric dream.  It's within all of us, and today I just dug deep and found it". He is quite well-spoken, also; but, Brandon reached his goal because of his superior fighting skills and his indomitable spirit.
    Brandon Ivey's victory is not his alone. It belongs to him; his master trainer, Master Dennis Kim, and an army of Taekwondo fellow students, well wishers and most of all, his family. He is an original member of Master Dennis Kim's Special Sparring Elite Team (S. E. T.). Brandon comes from a good, solid, traditional American family. His mother and father and two older sisters have provided ample examples and inspiration for him to follow. His mother, Angela, was the first person in the family to study karate. She advanced to the rank of blue belt. His 19 year old sister, Adriene, is an international Taekwondo champion.
    Brandon's father, Randolf, could have been a promising amateur boxer, but he chose to pursue his academic endeavors. He is a graduate of Howard University with a Bachelors of Science (B.S.) in Mechanical Engineering and an Masters of Science (M.S.) Degree in Management Information Systems from Notre Dame. In the process, he has built an academic dynasty as well as an athletic dynasty. This is no small achieve for a man born and raised in Anacostia, South East, Washington, DC, where expectations are usually perceived as limited.
    The entire family has impressive academic credentials. Brandon's mother, Angela, also has a B.S. from Howard University. His 19 year old sister, Adriene, is sophomore at Standford University in Palo Alto, California; and, his 21 year old sister, Nicole, is graduating this year 2014 from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
    This is not your typical African American family; at least, this is not the type of successful African American family that usually makes the news: a family with a mother and father, where the children are nurtured and disciplined, encouraged and programmed for success, taken to church and taught to pray.  Brandon was raised to be mentally awake and morally straight. He prays before his fights. That is part of his pre-fight routine.
    His father says that Brandon approaches his fights scientifically. He studies the films of his scheduled opponents when they can be located. He also collects all the videos of his own fights and critiques himself. He looks to see what he did well and what he did not do so well with an eye towards correcting any perceived errors. He stops eating the night before a fight. His last meal is usually a big quarter-pounder, a pure beef hamburger. He must get a hair cut before every tournament, no matter what city he is in. He works himself up to a sweat before each match. That way his muscles are warm and relaxed and his reflexes are sharp. And last, but not least, he prays for victory. And his prayers have been answered.

    "Greatness is not some elusive, esoteric dream. It's within all of us, and today I just dug deep and found it," Ivey said - See more at: http://www.noodls.com/view/7E674070F85FABF85064999D2F043AEBF2231EDA?2397xxx1395624066#sthash.AHHnenLR.dpuf

    "Greatness is not some elusive, esoteric dream. It's within all of us, and today I just dug deep and found it," Ivey said - See more at: http://www.noodls.com/view/7E674070F85FABF85064999D2F043AEBF2231EDA?2397xxx1395624066#sthash.AHHnenLR.dpuf
    CONGRATULATIONs to Brandon. He is only 16 years old and a "master of his game".
     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4VsQFy7en4
     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2R4i05t0T8
     https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152043623422671&set=vb.91230807670&type=2&theater
     http://vimeo.com/89990145
    The number one athlete in the world has always been recognized as the Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World. Every other major sport is a team sport. In basketball there are five men on a team who can play at one time. Baseball has nine players, football has eleven players, and soccer has eleven players on the field competing at one time. In boxing there is only one. It is one against one, head to head and toe to toe; and may the best man win. Boxers fight with their fists, but Taekwondo fighters use both their hands and feet. Full contact Taekwondo fighting is closer to boxing than any other sport in the world. Taekwondo tournament fighters are amateurs and do not get paid, whereas professional boxers are professionals and make large sums of money. Beyond that they are similar in many respects.
    Brandon was successful because of his mental approach to his sport, Taekwondo. He is a fierce competitor and has mastered a winner's mindset, which he began to develop at a very young age with the help of his long time coach, Master Dennis Kim.
    Brandon had a compelling reason for continuously working hard and sacrificing on a daily basis. When Brandon was only 07 years old, Master Dennis taught him to set and write down his specific goals. He said he wanted to be the Champion of the World.
    Master Dennis tells all of his fighters at the USTigers Taekwondo School that there is absolutely no substitute for consistent, daily, hard work! You can't just work hard whenever you feel like it. It can't be a sometimes thing! It has to be an every day thing. This is true in all sports, but especially so in combative sports, like Taekwondo. To become a champion you  have to train yourself to continuously step outside of your comfort zone, physically, mentally and emotionally. Brandon Ivey was able to do this. Whenever he trained, he didn't just mindlessly go through the motions. He focused on making sure his kicking and punching techniques were precise. Master Dennis believes that one must perform a technique ,at least, one thousand times to learn it, and ten thousand times to perfect it. Only then can you say that you have mastered it.
    Master Dennis says that part of the reason for Brandon's success is that he has ice water in his veins and he thoroughly believes in himself.  One thing that separates really great athletes from everyone else is that no matter what happens and no matter how many failures or setbacks they suffer, they never stop believing in themselves.
    It is impossible for a fighter to fight his best when it counts the most if he or she gets too nervous before the fight. Anything more than a case of minor butterflies in the stomach is not good. One can be the best coached, the best conditioned, the strongest, fastest and most talented fighter in the match, but if you cannot control the pre-fight nervousness, you are not going to win. Brandon has never suffered from pre-fight juitters. He has learned to maintain his composure under pressure. In a few of his fights when he was behind on points and the time clock was running out, Brandon remained as cool as a cucumber, and he managed to win the fight.


    The 10th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships kicked off in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei on March 23, 2014 for a four-day run.
     The biennial World Junior Championships, which took place at the Taipei Arena in downtown Taipei City, attracted a total of 793 athletes and 472 officials from a record 107 countries. A total of 90 international referees officiated at the championships.
    All the matches were conducted on octagon-shaped mats, and a protector and scoring system and an instant video replay system were used.
     On the opening day, Azerbaijan took one gold and one bronze to top others in the overall medal tally, followed by the United States (Brandon Ivey, representing the USA), Serbia Ukraine and China with one gold each. Italy came next with one silver and one bronze, while host Chinese Taipei clinched two bronzes.
     On the opening day in the junior male +78kg weight category, the United States' Brandon Ivey needed a fourth golden-point (sudden death) round to win the gold medal against Jordan's Hamza Kattan. In that division, the bronze was shared by Russia's Emil Khadeev and Korea's Jun-sik An.
      WTF President Chungwon Choue and WTF Council members were present for the Opening Ceremonies of the 10th World Junior Taekwondo Championships.
    WTF President Choue said in his speech at the opening ceremony. "We have already witnessed great performances of our junior athletes and fantastic support of the organizing committee for the past two days of the WTF Qualification Tournament for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games. Congratulations on the qualifiers and appreciations to all athletes who came here after years of hard training and tough competitions".
    He continued to say, "Chinese Taipei is one of the front runners in global taekwondo and has produced numerous medal winners at the Olympic Games, World Championships and international taekwondo tournaments. I am sure the people of Chinese Taipei are proud of their taekwondo sons and daughters."
    "Since its inauguration in 1996, the WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships have served as a stepping-stone for youth to elevate themselves into heroes and heroines," he said. "Sports give youth something to aim for, something to hope for and something to dream about. It does not favor or discriminate against any age, physical condition, gender or culture. Sports inspire and empower those who practice them, and taekwondo is a sport for all."
    "A recent decision by the International Paralympic Committee to shortlist taekwondo for the official program of Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games reflects the value of taekwondo as a true sport for all," Choue said.


    At the 2014  World Championships In Taiwan, China these were the points Brandon scored in the Finals.

    +78 youth
    1/16-FinaleIVEY, Brandon6:5ALEJANDRO, Joel Felipe
    1/08-FinaleIVEY, Brandon4:2KANAMATOV, Magomedrasul
    1/04-FinaleIVEY, Brandon1:0GARCIA VAZQUEZ, Victor
    1/02-FinaleIVEY, Brandon6:5KHADEEV, Emil
    1/01-FinaleIVEY, Brandon1:0KATTAN, Hamza







    Brandon Ivey's fighting history.

    USA Taekwondo

    Height: 6-0
    Weight: 168 lbs.
    High School: Briar Woods High School (Ashburn, Va.)
    Year of Graduation: 2015
    Coach: Dennis Kim

    AWARDS:
    2013 USAT Junior Male Athlete of the Year

    Other Sports Played in High School:
    football

    Hobbies:
    computers
    MAJOR COMPETITION RESULTS:
    2014  USA Taekwondo Junior National Team Trials (men’s heavy): FIRST
    2014  U.S. Junior National Team member (Heavy)

    2013  USAT National Championships (Jr. Heavy): GOLD
    2013  USAT Junior National Team Member (Heavy)

    2012 
    World Junior Championships (Jr. Lt. Heavy): Round of 16
                -lost to Nikos Karamangiolis (GER), 5-2, in Round of 16
    2012  U.S. Open (Jr. Lt. Heavy): SILVER
              -def. Zeph Putnam (USA), 3-2, in quarterfinals
              -def. Jacob Bolanos (USA), 9-4, in semifinals
              -lost to Misael Lopez Jaramillo (MEX), 7-4, in finals

    2012  Junior World Championships Team Member (Jr. Lt. Heavy)
    2012 
    Junior World Championships Open Team Trials (Jr. Lt. Heavy): 1st

    IVEY,
    Brandon

    United States of America
    TaekwondoData Person-ID: 23755N
    United States of America

    FIGHTER

    Stats*

    • 14 registered fights, fighter won 11 out of them. That's a rate of 78.6%
    • 80 hitpoints distributed and 51 collected during fights.
    • Won 2 golden point(s) and lost 0.
    • Participated at 6 tournaments, 6 with international and 0 with national valuation.
    * These data may not be used to assessing an athlete, as the level of the tournament (national / international, etc.) is not considered. Calculated on the basis of all available data.

    Career Ranking

    livetime ranking of all international fighters
    Brandon is on place 1.625 with 74 points.

    Saison Ranking

    Ranking calculated: 10.04.2014 21:57:38
    Categorie Weightclass Ranking Points
    youth male -73 1.188
    youth male -78 29.344
    youth male +78 55.126

    Results

    Results international


    result year tournament city weight category


    bronze 3. 2011 US Open Austin +78 youth international 1.50 0
    silver 2. 2012 US Open Las Vegas -78 youth international 2.50 0

    PAR 2012 World Championships Sharm El-Sheikh -78 youth international 5.00 2
    gold 1. 2013 US Open Las Vegas +78 youth international 3.50 0
    silver 2. 2013 Pan American Championships Queretaro +78 youth international 10.00 4
    gold 1. 2014 World Championships Taipai City +78 youth international 35.00 10

    Rivals and results

    Rivals and results international




    winner points looser

    2012

    US Open,
    -78 youth
    1/02-Finale IVEY, Brandon 9 : 4 BOLANOS, Jacob
    1/01-Finale LOPEZ JARAMILLO, Misael 7 : 4 IVEY, Brandon
    World Championships,
    -78 youth
    Trainer / Coches:
    MORENO, Juan Miguel
    1/16-Finale IVEY, Brandon 5 : 2 KATTAN, Ahmad
    1/08-Finale KARAMANGIOLIS, Nikos 5 : 2 IVEY, Brandon

    In 2013 at the US Open these were the fight results

    +78 youth
    1/02-Finale IVEY, Brandon 12 : 10 STEWART, Jordan
    1/01-Finale IVEY, Brandon 5 : 3 LI, Yanfeng
    Pan American Championships,
    +78 youth
    1/04-Finale IVEY, Brandon 8 : 6 POGONZA, Javier
    1/02-Finale IVEY, Brandon 17 : 1 SENA DENICOLA, Cesar Augusto
    1/01-Finale LOPEZ JARAMILLO, Misael 1 : 0 IVEY, Brandon

    At the 2014  World Championships In Taiwan, China these were the points scored in the Finals

    +78 youth
    1/16-Finale IVEY, Brandon 6 : 5 ALEJANDRO, Joel Felipe
    1/08-Finale IVEY, Brandon 4 : 2 KANAMATOV, Magomedrasul
    1/04-Finale IVEY, Brandon 1 : 0 GARCIA VAZQUEZ, Victor
    1/02-Finale IVEY, Brandon 6 : 5 KHADEEV, Emil
    1/01-Finale IVEY, Brandon 1 : 0 KATTAN, Hamza

    Brandon Ivey Reclaims The World Heavyweight Black Belt Crown For The USA


    Meet Brando Ivey the first Heavyweight Black Belt Taekwondo Champion from America since 1986.

    Brando Ivey is the first Heavyweight Black Belt Taekwondo Champion from America since 1986. He is a junior at Briar Woods High School in Ashburn, Virginia.
    Here he is with his coach, Master Dennis Kim, from the USTigers WTF School of Taekwondo, Haymarket, VA. Last week Brando Ivey represented the USA in the World WTF Taekwondo Championship Tournament in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China. He defeated FIVE heavy weight black belt fighters from various countries around the World. It was a single elimination tournament and Brandon went undefeated. All of his fights were razor-edge close. The final match was a sudden death overtime match against Hamza Kattan of Jordan. Brandon won the match 5-4. His opponents were champions from the republic of the Philippines, Azerbaijzan, Spain, Russia, and Jordan. CONGRATULATIONs to Brandon. He is only 16 years old and a “master of his game”.
    Listen to the Brandon Ivey interview after winning the championship  http://vimeo.com/89990145
     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4VsQFy7en4
     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2R4i05t0T8
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152043623422671&set=vb.91230807670&type=2&theater
    The number one athlete in the world has always been recognized as the Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World. Every other major sport is a team sport. In basketball there are five men on a team who can play at one time. Baseball has nine players, football has eleven players, and soccer has eleven players on the field competing at one time. In boxing there is only one. It is one against one, head to head and toe to toe; and may the best man win. Boxers fight with their fists, but Taekwondo fighters use both their hands and feet. Full contact Taekwondo fighting is closer to boxing than any other sport in the world. Taekwondo tournament fighters are amateurs and do not get paid, whereas professional boxers are professionals and make large sums of money. Beyond that they are similar in many respects.
    Brandon was successful because of his mental approach to his sport, Taekwondo. He is a fierce competitor and has mastered a winner’s mindset, which he began to develop at a very young age with the help of his long time coach, Master Dennis Kim.
    Brandon had a compelling reason for continuously working hard and sacrificing on a daily basis. When Brandon was only 7 years old, Master Dennis taught him to set and write down his specific goals. He said he wanted to be the Champion of the World.
    Master Dennis tells all of his fighters at the USTigers Taekwondo School that there is absolutely no substitute for consistent, daily, hard work! You can’t just work hard whenever you feel like it. It can’t be a sometimes thing! It has to be an every day thing. This is true in all sports, but especially so in combative sports, like Taekwondo. To become a champion you  have to train yourself to continuously step outside of your comfort zone, physically, mentally and emotionally. Brandon Ivey was able to do this. Whenever he trained, he didn’t just mindlessly go through the motions. He focused on making sure his kicking and punching techniques were precise. Master Dennis believes that one must perform a technique ,at least, one thousand times to learn it, and ten thousand times to perfect it. Only then can you say that you have mastered it.
    Master Dennis says that part of the reason for Brandon’s success is that he has ice water in his veins and he thoroughly believes in himself.  One thing that separates really great athletes from everyone else is that no matter what happens and no matter how many failures or setbacks they suffer, they never stop believing in themselves.
    It is impossible for a fighter to fight his best when it counts the most if he or she gets too nervous before the fight. Anything more than a case of minor butterflies in the stomach is not good. One can be the best coached, the best conditioned, the strongest, fastest and most talented fighter in the match, but if you cannot control the pre-fight nervousness, you are not going to win. Brandon has never suffered from pre-fight juitters. He has learned to maintain his composure under pressure. In a few of his fights when he was behind on points and the time clock was running out, Brandon remained as cool as a cucumber, and he managed to win the fight.





    Brandon Ivey

    USA Taekwondo

    Height: 6-0
    Weight: 168 lbs.
    High School: Briar Woods High School (Ashburn, Va.)
    Year of Graduation: 2015
    Coach: Dennis Kim

    AWARDS:
    2013 USAT Junior Male Athlete of the Year

    Other Sports Played in High School: football
    Hobbies: computers
    MAJOR COMPETITION RESULTS:
    2014  USA Taekwondo Junior National Team Trials (men’s heavy): FIRST
    2014  U.S. Junior National Team member (Heavy)

    2013  USAT National Championships (Jr. Heavy): GOLD
    2013  USAT Junior National Team Member (Heavy)

    2012 
    World Junior Championships (Jr. Lt. Heavy): Round of 16
    -lost to Nikos Karamangiolis (GER), 5-2, in Round of 16
    2012  U.S. Open (Jr. Lt. Heavy): SILVER
    -def. Zeph Putnam (USA), 3-2, in quarterfinals
    -def. Jacob Bolanos (USA), 9-4, in semifinals
    -lost to Misael Lopez Jaramillo (MEX), 7-4, in finals

    2012  Junior World Championships Team Member (Jr. Lt. Heavy)
    2012 
    Junior World Championships Open Team Trials (Jr. Lt. Heavy): 1st

    IVEY,
    Brandon

    United States of America
    TaekwondoData Person-ID: 23755N
    United States of America

    FIGHTER

    Stats*

    • 14 registered fights, fighter won 11 out of them. That’s a rate of 78.6%
    • 80 hitpoints distributed and 51 collected during fights.
    • Won 2 golden point(s) and lost 0.
    • Participated at 6 tournaments, 6 with international and 0 with national valuation.
    * These data may not be used to assessing an athlete, as the level of the tournament (national / international, etc.) is not considered. Calculated on the basis of all available data.

    Career Ranking

    livetime ranking of all international fighters
    Brandon is on place 1.625 with 74 points.

    Saison Ranking

    Ranking calculated: 10.04.2014 21:57:38
    Categorie Weightclass Ranking Points
    youth male -73 1.188
    youth male -78 29.344
    youth male +78 55.126

    Results

    Results international


    result year tournament city weight category


    bronze 3. 2011 US Open Austin +78 youth international 1.50 0
    silver 2. 2012 US Open Las Vegas -78 youth international 2.50 0

    PAR 2012 World Championships Sharm El-Sheikh -78 youth international 5.00 2
    gold 1. 2013 US Open Las Vegas +78 youth international 3.50 0
    silver 2. 2013 Pan American Championships Queretaro +78 youth international 10.00 4
    gold 1. 2014 World Championships Taipai City +78 youth international 35.00 10

    Rivals and results

    Rivals and results international




    winner points looser

    2012

    US Open,
    -78 youth
    1/02-Finale IVEY, Brandon 9 : 4 BOLANOS, Jacob
    1/01-Finale LOPEZ JARAMILLO, Misael 7 : 4 IVEY, Brandon
    World Championships,
    -78 youth
    Trainer / Coches:
    MORENO, Juan Miguel
    1/16-Finale IVEY, Brandon 5 : 2 KATTAN, Ahmad
    1/08-Finale KARAMANGIOLIS, Nikos 5 : 2 IVEY, Brandon

    In 2013 at the US Open these were the fight results

    +78 youth
    1/02-Finale IVEY, Brandon 12 : 10 STEWART, Jordan
    1/01-Finale IVEY, Brandon 5 : 3 LI, Yanfeng
    Pan American Championships,
    +78 youth
    1/04-Finale IVEY, Brandon 8 : 6 POGONZA, Javier
    1/02-Finale IVEY, Brandon 17 : 1 SENA DENICOLA, Cesar Augusto
    1/01-Finale LOPEZ JARAMILLO, Misael 1 : 0 IVEY, Brandon

    At the 2014  World Championships In Taiwan, China these were the points scored in the Finals

    +78 youth
    1/16-Finale IVEY, Brandon 6 : 5 ALEJANDRO, Joel Felipe
    1/08-Finale IVEY, Brandon 4 : 2 KANAMATOV, Magomedrasul
    1/04-Finale IVEY, Brandon 1 : 0 GARCIA VAZQUEZ, Victor
    1/02-Finale IVEY, Brandon 6 : 5 KHADEEV, Emil
    1/01-Finale IVEY, Brandon 1 : 0 KATTAN, Hamza
    Labels:


    For The Love Of Books


    People take reading books for granted, especially now that they are available electronically. Not so long ago, there was a whole generation of children that did not have access to books in this country, not because there was a lack of books, nor because they were illiterate, but because of the color of their skin. Black children had no right to step across the threshold of a public library and read or borrow books.
     My struggle with Taekwondo began as a struggle for Taekwondo.
    Back in 1963, I was a young black man, a senior at an all black Woodstock High School, in Memphis, Tennessee. I wanted to write a senior term paper on the topic of martial arts. The school had only a small library with a limited selection of books. There were no books on karate,Taekwondo, judo, aikido, or kung fu in the school library. In fact there were no books at all on martial arts. When I inquired concerning any other library that I could possibly use for my research, the school librarian, Mrs. R. J. Roddy, informed me that there was a public library in Memphis, TN. It was a much bigger one, and it had a large selection of books on many topics, but it was "For whites only". Before I lost all hope for his term paper, Mrs. R. J. Roddy told me, she could call the librarian in that other “whites only” library and see what books they had on the subject. It turned out that there were quite a few books on the martial arts. The library sent over a two page list of titles. After looking through the list, I picked out some books that I thought I could use as references. Mrs. R. J. Roddy called back and told the librarian which books I wanted. The books were sent to my school by special delivery. I do not remember whether these books were the only books sent to my school, but looking back, I am amazed at what lengths they were willing to go to keep me out of the Memphis Public Library. But unbeknownst to me and to everyone around me, a little seed was planted in my heart and soul. That seed grew and grew until it consumed my entire spirit.I would not rest; I could not be satisfied until I had satisfied this hunger deep in my soul for the Oriental Fighting Arts, particularly the Korean Killing art of Taekwondo.

    U.S. Coast Guard Academy Swearing-In June 1964.
    “It was not until a few years later when I was a cadet at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) that the implications of the incident really hit home” he said. “I was now at an all white college and had access to a well stocked library, not like the small library at Woodstock High, which had little more than some magazines, news papers, periodicals, and Readers’ Digest Condensed Books.”All this was taking place during the 60s when the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing. People were marching and sitting-in, and highlighting the inequities of the segregated public accommodations. “The more I used the library at the USCGA, the more I became aware of the great deprivation that I had suffered in high school in Memphis, TN. And many people all over the South were still suffering.” he said.
    So he began to develop a real love for books and an appreciation for what books could do for the spirit. He began to go to the drug stores in New London, Connecticut, and buy paperback books. At first, he bought any book he could afford, like James Mischner’s “Hawaii’. He kept and treasured every book he purchased and slowly they began to stack up. Then, later as he traveled to foreign countries, he expanded his collection with foreign books. He joined book clubs, The Book of The Month Club, and later The Folio Society.
    He has visited and used many libraries all over the country, except the one in Memphis. One day, more than 40 years later, when he visited Memphis, TN, his nieces and nephews asked him if I had been to the Benjamin Hooks Public Library. He said no. In fact, he never really associated going to a public library in Memphis, TN, based on his childhood experiences. “The idea felt strange to me because I had never been inside the Memphis Public Library, I did not think I was welcome” Mr. Steverson stated. He took his wife and children and has accomplished a major milestone in his life 44 years later. He was finally able to step foot inside the public library in his hometown, and on top of it all, apply for library card. The lady was an older white lady from Connecticut, who was processing his application. The lady was surprised that a 60 year old man born and raised in town, had never had a library card there. “I explained to her that when I had lived in Memphis, Blacks were not allowed to use the public library, and I had left Memphis at age 17.” She was amazed and I was pleasantly taken aback that my minor children and I were getting library cards for the first time at the same time.” His whole family became a member as a symbol to his freedom to read books anywhere.

    “One day I looked around and I had so many books I did not know what to do with them” he said “nearly every room had wall to wall bookshelves filled with various books. Every room in his house had books in it, from the front door to the back door. Within 6 months of getting the library card, he moved to Hungary. “When the packers came to our home with boxes, we were surprised that the bulk of out possessions were books. We had over 400 boxes of books.” There were high school, college, and law school text books, along with novels and books of every description. They were the accumulation of over 45 years of collecting books.

    When he arrived to Hungary, his wife began to take him to visit the elementary and high schools she had attended. He found that every school was teaching English diligently to their students, and they discussed the idea of donating some of the books to her alma maters’ libraries. Then, one day he visited the County Library in Veszprem. (ekmk.hu) To his surprise there was an American Corner in the library. American Corners are a State Department supported program that provides, without American personnel, a public diplomacy outpost – library, discussion forum, program venue and Internet access – available for the use of the local population in a host country. The American Corner had two shelves of English language books and plenty of space. The American Corner was also near the local university. Mr. Steverson decided that this was the best place to donate his books because they would get the most exposure to English speaking and reading people. After showing the Director some samples of the types of books that he had, she was delighted to accept all the books he could donate. The donation was called the Steverson Book Collection and since the initial donation, the collection has expanded from one corner to three corners in Hungary, helping students and teachers, Hungarians, foreigners and ex-patriots to have access to a wide variety of books and knowledge. The seed planted in 1963 has come to grow, blossom and bear fruit. Mr. Steverson has fulfilled a lifelong dream of helping young and old alike to have access to books and learning. His dream carried him even further than he had ever dreamed, giving him the opportunity to help a whole nation have access to something that he did not as a child.



    After the Opening Ceremony of the Steverson Collection on 23 April, 2009 the American Corner Veszprem was excited to announce the start of the Steverson Collection Book Club. The Club aimed to give the reading public a chance to get
    acquainted with the vast collection of books in the generous donation from Judge London Steverson and his family.  The Book Club will be run by booklovers, for booklovers. The members were be at the heart of the operation of the club.

    Variety is at the heart of our Club. The Steverson Collection contains thousands of new, and used and rare English language books on a variety of subjects of interest; such as, History, Humor, Satire, Myths & Legends, Philosophy, Poetry, Shakespeare, Religion, Reference, Travel & Leisure, Exploration (The Silk Road, The Spice Route, The
    Northwest Passage, Antrarctica, The North Pole, and more…)



    Benjamin Hooks Public Library, Memphis, TN.
    Dr. Benjamin Hooks, First Black Commissioner at FCC
    Benjamin Hooks Public Library, Memphis, TN.
    Benjamin L. Hooks for 15 years led the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People as it struggled to remain an effective champion of minorities in an era of rising political conservatism. President Richard M. Nixon appointed Mr. Hooks, a Nixon supporter, to the Federal Communications Commission in 1972.