CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — A sentencing hearing was held for a woman who admitted to healthcare fraud. Julie Wheeler went before the Honorable Judge John Copenhaver at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
Wheeler was sentenced to 42 months in prison with three years of supervised release. She will also have to pay 289,055.07 in restitution. The court recommended she serve her time at FCI Alderson.
She pleaded guilty to the healthcare fraud charge in February. She was set to be sentenced in May, but this was later changed to June. Around that time there was a false report she had fallen from the Grandview Overlook in the New River Gorge National River. She was later found hiding in a closet at her home.
“Absolutely despicable. Wheeler’s egregious fraud scheme denied much needed spina bifida care for her own sister while she fleeced the Veteran’s Administration of almost $300,000,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Then she faked her own disappearance to evade sentencing, risking the lives and resources of first responders and emergency personnel. Outrageous. Terribly tragic case all around.”
Wheeler faces additional charges in connection with the false report. Those include Fraudulent Schemes, False Information to West Virginia State Police, False Emergency Incident, Willful Disruption of a Government Process, Obstructing an Officer and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. Her husband Rodney is also facing criminal charges.