Great Falls man admits to health care fraud in federal court

A Great Falls man accused of lying about his income to receive Medicaid admitted to fraud charges in federal court on June 14, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Dustin Tempel, 38, was arraigned on and pleaded guilty to an information charging him with health care fraud. Tempel faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided and the court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing is set for Nov. 9.

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Tempel was released pending further proceedings.

Investigators uncovered false IRS form 1099s for Dustin Tempel while investigating his mother, Lynn Tempel, who was the finance manager for William Tempel Construction and was sentenced in 2022 for fraudulently inflating construction costs when building a home for a victim in Great Falls, according to court documents.

Investigators determined from a review of bank records that Dustin Tempel received money about every two weeks from Lynn Tempel, and that $286,969 of income to Dustin Tempel was underreported during a five-year period, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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In court documents, the government alleges that in November 2016, Kelly Tempel, Dustin Tempel’s wife, applied for Medicaid, which is a health care benefit.

When applying, the Tempels underrepresented their income, claiming they made only $1,692 monthly, which was false, and if they had reported their actual income, Dustin Tempel would not have qualified for Medicaid, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Investigators determined that the Tempels had applied for a bank loan for a 2019 Ford F350 in the amount of $63,589 and claimed they made $8,000 in gross monthly income. As a result, from November 2017 to September 2020, Dustin Tempel received $75,493 from Medicaid that he was not entitled to receive, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan G. Weldon is prosecuting the case. The FBI conducted the investigation.