Owners of Missouri group home where 11 died in 2006 fire answer federal fraud charges

By Alan Scher Zagier, AP
Monday, September 20, 2010

Fraud trial held for owner of Mo. group home

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Prosecutors say the former owner of a Missouri group home where 11 people died in a fire was running the business from prison and after his release despite a federal ban on his involvement.

Robert DuPont and his wife LaVerne went on trial Monday on charges of health care fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. They are accused of owning and operating group homes despite Robert DuPont’s felony conviction for Medicaid fraud.

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

Attorneys for the DuPonts say the Medicaid exclusion only restricted Robert DuPont from actively caring for patients.

District Judge Greg Kays concluded the hearing without a decision but said he expected to rule soon.

will not be displayed