Missouri group home federal fraud trial begins Monday

Monday, September 20, 2010 | 12:36 p.m. CDT; updated 1:30 p.m. CDT, Monday, September 20, 2010

SPRINGFIELD — A federal health care fraud trial gets under way Monday in Springfield against the owners of a southwest Missouri group home where 11 people died.

Robert and LaVerne DuPont face federal felony charges of health care fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. They are accused of owning and operating several group homes for older people and mentally ill despite Robert DuPont's 2002 felony conviction for Medicaid fraud.

Their holdings included the Anderson Guest House, where faulty wiring caused the deadly November 2006 fire.

The older couple is accused of collecting nearly three-quarters of a million dollars from Medicaid through Joplin River of Life Ministries, a nonprofit created by the DuPonts to run the homes they owned.

One or two days of testimony are anticipated.


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