Law & Justice

Hundreds of Seniors Defrauded for More than $1 Million, Somerset Man Indicted 

a3a2923f38cba29fca34_download.jpg
a3a2923f38cba29fca34_download.jpg

A local man was indicted by a federal grand jury for defrauding hundreds of senior citizens, for more than $1 million dollars by convincing them to submit to unnecessary genetic testing, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced in a news release Friday evening. 

Seth Rehfuss, 43, of Somerset, used a purported nonprofit named the Good Samaritans of America along with co-conspirator Sheila Kahl of Point Pleasant, to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to wrongfully access individually identifiable health information and to pay illegal remunerations to health care professionals, according to authorities. 

Rehfuss' scheme lasted from July 2014 through December 2015, according to authorities. Rehfuss, Kahl, and others deceived low-income seniors to gain access to them for presentations, according to authorities. 

Sign Up for E-News

Seniors were told Good Samaritans of America was a nonprofit that helps seniors navigate federal benefit programs, according to authorities. However, the organization was a front to present information about genetic testing, according to authorities. 

"In order to convince senior citizens to submit to genetic testing, Rehfuss used fear-based tactics during the presentations, including suggesting the senior citizens would be vulnerable to heart attacks, stroke, cancer and suicide if they did not have the genetic testing," Carpenito said in a news release. "In addition, Rehfuss claimed that the genetic testing allowed for “personalized medicine.”

According to authorities, Rehfuss, Kahl and others caused the Medicare program to pay more than $1 million to two clinical laboratories. 

"Rehfuss obtained more than $100,000 and distributed commissions to Kahl of tens of thousands of dollars," Carpenito said in a news release. "Rehfuss and others were actively working towards expanding the scheme outside of New Jersey into other states, including: Georgia, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Michigan, Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee and Arizona."

Authorities say Rehfuss and others took DNA swabs from senior citizens in their homes and community rooms during the presentations. The DNA swabs were collected without the involvement of any healthcare provider and without any determination by a healthcare provider that such testing was medically necessary or appropriate, according to authorities. 

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:

To get the tests authorized, Rehfuss used advertisements on Craigslist to recruit healthcare providers for the scheme. After entering into contractual relationships with The Good Samaritans of America, the healthcare providers received requisition forms that often included a patient’s personal information, Medicare information, medication lists and diagnosis codes.

The healthcare providers were paid thousands of dollars per month by Rehfuss and Kahl to sign their names to requisition forms authorizing testing for patients they never examined and were in no way involved in the patients’ care or treatment. Rehfuss and Kahl used fraudulent email accounts to access the individually identifiable health information of the senior citizens, specifically the results of the DNA analysis.

The healthcare fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sheila Kahl previously pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert, along with special agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, with the investigation leading to today’s indictment.

Visit and read your exclusive Franklin news at TAPinto Franklin Township  24/7 for FREE: TAPintoFranklinTownship.net.

Sign Up for E-News to get top stories delivered daily to your inbox. 

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Franklin Township: Into the Woods - Character Tea

April 20, 2018

SOMERSET, NJ - Come out to Franklin High School on Sunday, April 22 at 1 pm to meet your favorite Princesses and other Fairytale characters.  

Get autographs and take pictures as you enjoy snacks and “tea."  

Tickets are $10 for the Character Tea or $22 for tea ticket to Into The Woods.  

Tickets are available at the door or go ...

Police Investigate Bias Incident in Montgomery, Seek Help from Public

April 20, 2018

MONTGOMERY, NJ - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and township Police Director/Capt. Thomas Wain are asking the public for help in the investigation of what is being considered a bias crime.

Detectives assigned to the investigation released that the following information based on the preliminary and ongoing investigation, which continues to evolve as investigators interview ...

Area Rotary Club Fair: Fun Place to Do Business

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The Rotary Club of Hillsborough will provide local businesses multiple opportunities to showcase their services and connect directly with customers at its 11th annual Rotary Fair, scheduled this year for Aug. 14–19.

More than 15,000 people from Hillsborough and surrounding communities are expected to visit the weeklong family event held at the Hillsborough Promenade, ...

Area Church Set To Host “Little Big Shots” Viewing Starring Lil Asmar

SOUTH PLAINFIELD,  NJ —  Impact Church is inviting the public to a viewing of NBC’s “Little Big Shots” featuring South Plainfield resident, 11-year-old bass guitarist, Lil Asmar. It is  a feel-good, family-friendly series hosted by Steve Harvey, "Little Big Shots" showcases talented and unique kids from all over the ...

Somerville: “Shop ‘til You Drop Resale Extravaganza” April 21

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The “Shop ‘til You Drop Resale Extravaganza” on April 21st is meant to draw attention to the borough’s  burgeoning network of antiques, collectibles and consignment shops.

Nine stores will be open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., each offering discounts and prizes for those looking for truly unique, one-of-a-kind items at affordable ...

East Brunswick's Rabbi Aryeh Goodman Charged with Sex Trafficking of a Child

NEWARK, N.J. – Two individuals who allegedly forced a child into commercial sex acts at multiple hotels throughout Middlesex, Bergen, and Essex counties, will appear in court today with one of their customers to face federal sex trafficking charges, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.  The "customer" is Rabbi Aryeh Goodman, 35, of East Brunswick, who is charged in a ...

Governor Names New Brunswick an "Opportunity Zone"

NEW BRUNSWICK - Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Monday that the U.S. Department of Treasury has approved New Brunswick as one of 169 recommended designations for Opportunity Zones throughout the Garden State.

The Opportunity Zone Program is designed to drive long-term capital investments into low-income rural and urban communities. There are 75 municipalities in the state ...

Police Investigate Bias Incident in Montgomery, Seek Help from Public

April 20, 2018

MONTGOMERY, NJ - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and township Police Director/Capt. Thomas Wain are asking the public for help in the investigation of what is being considered a bias crime.

Detectives assigned to the investigation released that the following information based on the preliminary and ongoing investigation, which continues to evolve as investigators interview ...

Area Rotary Club Fair: Fun Place to Do Business

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The Rotary Club of Hillsborough will provide local businesses multiple opportunities to showcase their services and connect directly with customers at its 11th annual Rotary Fair, scheduled this year for Aug. 14–19.

More than 15,000 people from Hillsborough and surrounding communities are expected to visit the weeklong family event held at the Hillsborough Promenade, ...

Area Church Set To Host “Little Big Shots” Viewing Starring Lil Asmar

SOUTH PLAINFIELD,  NJ —  Impact Church is inviting the public to a viewing of NBC’s “Little Big Shots” featuring South Plainfield resident, 11-year-old bass guitarist, Lil Asmar. It is  a feel-good, family-friendly series hosted by Steve Harvey, "Little Big Shots" showcases talented and unique kids from all over the ...

Somerset County Town to Close Library

April 21, 2018

WATCHUNG, NJ  - The Watchung Borough Council voted on Thursday night, before packed chambers and over 500 watching on Facebook live,  to close the Watchung Library and explore redevelopment of the library site on Stirling Road.

After years of discussion and debate, the council decided not to renovate the existing library or construct a new library. Mayor Stephen Pote ...

​SCVTHS Students Win Gold at the 2018 New Jersey SkillsUSA Championships

BRIDGEWATER, NJ – On April 14, Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School students competed against other career and technical education students from around the state at the 2018 New Jersey SkillsUSA Championships. 

Out of the 94 students from SCVTHS who competed, 63 received medals including 27 gold.  The gold medal winners are now eligible to test their skills in ...

Franklin Non-Profits Win Luxury Suite at TD Bank Ballpark

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Freeholder Director Patrick Scaglione selected 40 nonprofit organizations in an annual drawing for Community Box seats at the TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater.

The winners will have an opportunity to watch the “Boys of Summer” play home games on various dates during the Somerset Patriots’ 2018 season.

“Somerset County has made this 30-seat community ...

Somerset County Town to Close Library

April 21, 2018

WATCHUNG, NJ  - The Watchung Borough Council voted on Thursday night, before packed chambers and over 500 watching on Facebook live,  to close the Watchung Library and explore redevelopment of the library site on Stirling Road.

After years of discussion and debate, the council decided not to renovate the existing library or construct a new library. Mayor Stephen Pote ...

​SCVTHS Students Win Gold at the 2018 New Jersey SkillsUSA Championships

BRIDGEWATER, NJ – On April 14, Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School students competed against other career and technical education students from around the state at the 2018 New Jersey SkillsUSA Championships. 

Out of the 94 students from SCVTHS who competed, 63 received medals including 27 gold.  The gold medal winners are now eligible to test their skills in ...