Dunn couple appears in court on Medicaid, tax fraud charges
Posted June 25, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — A Dunn husband and wife were in federal court Monday on charges that they defrauded taxpayers of nearly $600,000 through their home health care business.
John Curtis Alspaugh, 61, and Helen Blue Alspaugh, 56, are accused of using their Dunn-based business, Basic Home Health Care Inc., to submit 3,518 false Medicaid claims, totaling $141,430, from January 2006 to April 2011.
Federal investigators say the couple also withheld more than $458,000 in tax money from their 130-plus employees’ paychecks, but never paid the IRS.
The company provided living assistance services, such as bathing and dispensing medication at patients’ homes. An indictment alleges the couple used Medicaid ID numbers of dead people, people in prison and former clients who once received personal care services from the company.
“Fraudulent claims were billed for services that the Alspaughs knew had not been provided,” according to a statement from the Department of Justice.
John Alspaugh is also accused of using a person’s Medicaid and other identity number to commit health care fraud, from Jan. 5, 2008, to Sept. 3, 2009, and from Sept. 22, 2006 to March 17, 2008, according to the Department of Justice.
John and Helen Alspaugh are each charged with conspiring to defraud the U.S. and eight counts of failure to truthfully account for and pay over withholding and Social Security taxes. John Alspaugh is also charged with 16 counts of health care fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
They had no comment after Monday’s court hearing, which was an initial appearance and dealt with procedural items relating to the case.
The Alspaughs will get public defenders to represent them, and each charge they face carries a maximum penalty of two to 10 years in prison, plus a $250,000 fine. Their next court date has not been set.