03 March 2017

CAUGHT: vet faked blindness for SMC

By Nick Viviani | Posted: Thu 4:21 PM, Mar 02, 2017
WICHITA, Kan. (WIBW) -- A Kansas Army veteran allegedly pretended to be blind in order to collect tens of thousands of dollars in benefits.

U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said authorities were tipped off after the suspect was seen driving away from his appointment at the VA Hospital in Wichita.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Billy J. Alumbaugh, 61, of Turon, lied about being legally blind and claimed he needed help with some tasks, like reading medication labels, grocery shopping, and going to doctor's appointments. As a result, he was receiving supplemental monthly pensions.

Alumbaugh would periodically go to the Wichita VA hospital where specialists stumped as to why he couldn't see, Beall said.

He even reportedly maintained his Kansas driver's license, which said he didn't need corrective lenses, from 2009 to 2016 and kept driving during that time.

He was even seen driving away from the VA shortly after a visit last October, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. His ex-wife Debra K. Alumbaugh, of Turon, was allegedly driving when they arrived for an appointment. After the appointment, however, she helped him get back into the passenger seat and they drove for a few blocks before switching seats so he could drive.

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