Kansas man admits pretending to be blind for federal benefits

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNT) – An Army veteran in Kansas has pleaded guilty to federal charges of more than $70,000 in benefits by pretending to be blind.

According to U.S. Attorney Tom Beall, Billy J. Alumbaugh, 62, of Turon, Kansas, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government. Alumbaugh’s ex-wife, Debra K. Alumbaugh, 58, of Turon, pleaded guilty to concealing the crime.

In his plea, Alumbaugh admitted he falsely represented to the Veterans Administration that he was blind and homebound in order to receive special monthly pension benefits. Beall said he was able to drive and engage in other routine life activities without assistance. His wife accompanied him to medical visits in which they pretended he was blind and needed her help.

Sentencing is set for September 6. He faces up to 5 years in federal prison and reimbursement of about $70,800. Both parties have agreed to recommend Debra be sentenced to a year on probation and a $1,000 fine.

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