A West Virginia man who helped his wife fake her death is jailed

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Man who helped his wife in health care falsify her own death by telling police she fell off a cliff is jailed after hiding in a closet at home

  • Rodney Wheeler was sentenced to eight months in prison in West Virginia on Monday after being found guilty of conspiracy to obstruct justice
  • Wheeler and his wife Julie Wheeler had come up with the elaborate plan to falsify her death to keep her out of jail for health care fraud
  • He called 911 last year on May 31 to report that his wife had fallen from a steep lookout at New River Gorge National Park while looking for her earring.
  • It led to a massive two-day search and rescue mission for the mother of two
  • Police later found Julie hiding in a closet in her house
  • The Wheelers came up with the plan so she could try to avoid being sent to prison for a health care fraud case related to overbilling.
  • Julie was eventually convicted of health care fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice in connection with the fake death plot

A West Virginia man who tried to help his wife fake her death by telling police she fell off a cliff so she could avoid health fraud charges has been sentenced to eight months in prison.

Rodney Wheeler was convicted Monday after being found guilty of federal charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Wheeler and his wife Julie Wheeler had come up with the elaborate plan of faking her death to keep her out of jail for health care fraud.

He had called the emergency center on May 31 last year to report that his wife had fallen from a steep lookout in West Virginia’s New River Gorge National Park while supposedly looking for her ear.

Rodney Wheeler

Julie Wheeler

Julie Wheeler

Rodney Wheeler was convicted Monday after being found guilty of federal charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice after helping his wife Julie falsify her own death last May.

His call sparked a massive two-day search and rescue mission for the mother of two, involving hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement officers.

Police later found Julie hiding in her house.

During the search, rescue personnel found a shoe and cell phone that belonged to Julie at the base of the lookout.

Wheeler also repeatedly made false statements to state and federal investigators while the search was ongoing.

He also filled their social media lie with posts about the ongoing search.

“ I get a lot of private messages so I think it’s best that I do something about this … the accident at Grandview yesterday involved my wife, ” he wrote in a Facebook post on the evening of June 1, 2020.

Rodney had called the emergency center on May 31 last year to report that his wife had fallen from a steep lookout in West Virginia's New River Gorge National Park.  His call sparked a massive two-day search and rescue mission for the mother of two (pictured above)

Rodney had called the emergency center on May 31 last year to report that his wife had fallen from a steep lookout in West Virginia's New River Gorge National Park.  His call sparked a massive two-day search and rescue mission for the mother of two (pictured above)

Rodney had called emergency services on May 31 last year to report that his wife had fallen from a steep lookout in West Virginia’s New River Gorge National Park. His call sparked a massive two-day search and rescue mission for the mother of two (pictured above)

Wheeler repeatedly made false statements to state and federal investigators while the search was ongoing.  He also kept their lie on social media with posts (above) about the ongoing search

Wheeler repeatedly made false statements to state and federal investigators while the search was ongoing.  He also kept their lie on social media with posts (above) about the ongoing search

Wheeler repeatedly made false statements to state and federal investigators while the search was ongoing. He also kept their lie on social media with posts (above) about the ongoing search

‘They haven’t found her yet, but I hope she will be found and she’s fine … I’m heartbroken and lost right now, but I need to keep the faith … please give us time to get there work through this and please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. ‘

Julie was found in a closet at her home two days later.

Authorities said the Wheelers planned to go into hiding together.

Prosecutors said the Wheelers hatched the plan so she could avoid federal conviction in a health care fraud case related to overbilling.

She was sentenced to three years and six months for health care fraud fraud after admitting to making fraudulent applications to the VA Spina Bifida Health Care Benefits Program, where she overcharged for providing spina bifida. take care of a family member.

In addition to that jail term, Julie was also ordered to pay a fee of $ 289,000 for the overcharging scheme.

She was also given an additional year in prison for conspiring to obstruct justice related to the bogus death plan.

Police found Julie hiding in a closet at her home two days later.  Prosecutors said the Wheelers hatched the plan so she could avoid federal conviction in a health care fraud case related to overbilling.

Police found Julie hiding in a closet at her home two days later.  Prosecutors said the Wheelers hatched the plan so she could avoid federal conviction in a health care fraud case related to overbilling.

Police found Julie hiding in a closet at her home two days later. Prosecutors said the Wheelers hatched the plan so she could avoid federal conviction in a health care fraud case related to overbilling.

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