Alleged killer Anthony Todt was in a Florida courtroom today for an initial appearance after police say he killed his three children, wife, and dog in an upscale Celebration townhome.
During a brief court appearance on Thursday morning, Ninth Judicial Circuit Judge Margaret Schreiber denied bond for Todt before an officer immediately walked him back to a metal cage toward the back of the room, which separated him from other inmates in court that day.
For security reasons, the corrections staff requested that Todt be the first to see the judge, before other defendants at the initial appearance hearing. A few inmates appeared visibly uncomfortable as the handcuffed Todt walked past them.
A public defender requested to waive the reading of Todt’s charges aloud. The judge approved.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Todt has been charged with three counts of premeditated murder and one count of animal abuse, in connection with the deaths of his wife Megan Todt, and their three children, Alek, Tyler, and Zoe. He’s also accused of killing the family dog, Breezy.
According to Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson, the victims’ deaths likely occurred toward the end of December. Authorities arrested Todt inside a rented Celebration, Florida, home on January 9. Inside the residence, investigators found his family and pet dog deceased.
Neighbors didn’t notice any strange smells coming from the home or anything that stood out to them, even though the family had not been seen since mid-December. They didn’t think it was unusual since the family traveled frequently, according to Gibson.
Gibson said authorities started investigating after a relative in Connecticut informed them that they hadn’t heard from the family in a while. The relative told police that the family may have “had the flu,” according to Gibson.
Officers first went to the home on December 29. Authorities didn’t note anything suspicious at the time.
Florida officers returned to the home on Monday with federal agents. They served an arrest warrant from the Department of Health and Human Services after investigators alleged Todt scammed insurance companies for numerous years.
According to a 36-page affidavit filed in federal court and obtained by CrimeOnline, Todt, who owned Family Physical Therapy in Connecticut, billed insurance companies for extra services that never happened and for appointments that never took place.
Numerous parents of children who were patients at Family Physical Therapy confirmed that their insurance companies were billed for therapy sessions their children never attended.
Todt owed over $100,000 to investors after taking out loans from 20 different commercial lenders to fund his business. He’s accused of defrauding the government’s Medicare and Medicaid programs, as well as private insurance companies, such as Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, to pay off his debts.
Court documents indicate that the FBI, along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) started investigating Todt and his business in April 2019. Authorities allege that he committed health care fraud beginning January 1, 2015. The alleged fraud lasted until November 21, 2019.
Todt initially denied the fraud scheme, according to court documents. However, when investigators “specifically asked if he routinely billed for services he didn’t provide,” he admitted that he did.
Todt said that his wife didn’t have any idea about the fraudulent activity and that he acted alone. Todt then informed the investigators he wanted to plead guilty and promised to return to Connecticut on December 8, 2019.
Investigators didn’t see Todt again until he was taken by gunpoint out of his Florida home on January 9.
Check back for updates.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Here is our latest episode.
[Feature Photo: Todt Family/Facebook]