Vet Sentenced For Faking Blindness

An Army veteran from Reno County was sentenced Wednesday to three years on probation and ordered to pay back $70,000 in benefits he received by pretending to be blind. The man’s ex-wife was sentenced to a year on probation for helping with the scheme.

According to U.S. Attorney Tom Beall, 62-year-old Billy J. Alumbaugh of Turon, Kansas,  pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government. His ex-wife, 58-year-old Debra K. Alumbaugh, 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 depended on her for help.

Beall commend the Veterans Administration Office of Inspector General and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson for their work on the case.