Kansas veteran admits he pretended to be blind to qualify for benefits

Gavel (KSN News)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – An Army veteran from Reno County pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges of receiving more than $70,000 in benefits by pretending to be blind.

Billy J. Alumbaugh, 62, Turon, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government. His ex-wife, Debra K. Alumbaugh, 58, also 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. In fact, 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 assistance.

Sentencing is set for Sept. 6. He faces up to five years in federal prison and restitution of approximately $70,800. Both parties have agreed to recommend she be sentenced to a year on probation and a $1,000 fine.

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