He pretended to be blind so that he could receive benefits. But the Reno County man was spotteed driving his car in Wichita, and on Wednesday he was sentenced in federal court.
Billy J. Alumbaugh, 62, of Turon was sentenced to three years of probation and must also repay $70,000 in benefits he received, U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said in a prepared statement. Alumbaugh pleaded guilty to once count of conspiracy to defraud the government. His ex-wife, Debra Alumbaugh, 58, pleaded guilty to concealing the crime.
In his plea, Alumbaugh admitted he falsely represented to the Veterans Administration that he was blind and home bound in order to receive monthly pension benefits. In truth, he was able to drive and engage in other routine life activities without assistance.
His wife accompanied him to medical visits during which they pretended he was blind and depended on her for help. Alumbaugh, who served in the U.S. Army from 1973 to 1976, received the supplemental assistance from 2009 to 2016, according to the federal indictment that charged him.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Billy Alumbaugh was seen with his ex-wife arriving at the VA hospital in Wichita last October, according to the indictment. Debra Alumbaugh was seen driving the car and she went on to help Billy Alumbaugh out of the car and into the complex.
After the appointment, they left in the vehicle with Debra Alumbaugh behind the wheel. After she drove for a few blocks, she pulled over and they switched seats, according to the indictment.
She was sentenced to a year of probation.