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 Astronomy Club Will Meet Tonight

July 19, 2018

SOMERSET, NJ - Stop by the Municipal Parking Lot in front of the library on Thursday, July 19, 7:30 PM-9:30 PM. (475 Demott Lane, Franklin Township, NJ).

On View: The Moon, Jupiter, The Hercules Star Cluster, and more!

At trillions of miles away, the stars seem distant, cold, and impersonal, but, something special happens on each clear night. Their light pierces our atmosphere at 300,000 ...

John Mahoney Loses Appeal in Murder Case Against his Father

July 20, 2018

PISCATAWAY, NJ - John Mahoney loses appeal on murder charges for killing his father Jerry Mahoney, former Piscataway police officer and Piscataway School Board member.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced that a Piscataway man’s 2015 aggravated manslaughter and hindering conviction and sentence were affirmed today by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate ...

New Brunswick Battles Hunger with Largest Food Pantry Network in County

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Rev. Douglas Shepler became pastor of New Brunswick's Second Reformed in April 2008 and by October had a food pantry running that quickly attracted people in need, including Rutgers University students.

“We had graduate students coming to us and they had a choice of paying their rent or paying for food,” Shepler said. However, those students ...

Viewing Date Set for 1-Year-Old Boy Killed in July 7 Crash in Raritan

RARITAN, NJ - A viewing for the 1-year-old Raritan boy killed on Anderson Street July 7 will be held this week at St. Ann Church, in Raritan, according to an obituary released by the Bongiovi Funeral Home.

Matias Ortega-Rosales was killed on the evening of his first birthday when a vehicle hit two cars and then his family as he was being pushed in a stroller by his mother, Domitila Rosales.

South Plainfield Police Investigators Seek Public’s Help in Fatal Crash

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The South Plainfield Police Department and Middlesex County Prosecutors Office are looking for the public’s help in the July 4, 2018 fatal motorcycle accident that killed 28 year-old Jessica Montes of Piscataway.

According to police, the accident occurred at approximately 4:50am as the vehicle Montes was a passenger lost control and crashed on New Brunswick ...

Tee times, Pairings Announced for Start of Next Week’s U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Baltusrol GC in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – The USGA U.S. Junior Amateur Championship starts Monday.  The pairings for the first two rounds of the 71st edition were recently announced.

Monday (July 16) and Tuesday (July 17) tee times will be played on the 7,280-yard, par-71 Upper Course and at the 7,313-yard, par-70 Lower Course at Baltusrol Golf Club.

Monday, Tuesday tee times & pairings

The ...

Newark Lures Amazon With $1 Billion Payroll Tax Incentive

NEWARK, NJ - Amazon will get a payroll tax break at a cost of $1 billion to the city should the company open its second headquarters here.

It’s one of two ordinances that were approved by the Newark City Council council to sweeten the deal for the corporate giant and stand out among other locations vying for Amazon’s so-called HQ2.

“The City Council has brought Newark a ...

John Mahoney Loses Appeal in Murder Case Against his Father

July 20, 2018

PISCATAWAY, NJ - John Mahoney loses appeal on murder charges for killing his father Jerry Mahoney, former Piscataway police officer and Piscataway School Board member.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced that a Piscataway man’s 2015 aggravated manslaughter and hindering conviction and sentence were affirmed today by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate ...

New Brunswick Battles Hunger with Largest Food Pantry Network in County

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Rev. Douglas Shepler became pastor of New Brunswick's Second Reformed in April 2008 and by October had a food pantry running that quickly attracted people in need, including Rutgers University students.

“We had graduate students coming to us and they had a choice of paying their rent or paying for food,” Shepler said. However, those students ...

Viewing Date Set for 1-Year-Old Boy Killed in July 7 Crash in Raritan

RARITAN, NJ - A viewing for the 1-year-old Raritan boy killed on Anderson Street July 7 will be held this week at St. Ann Church, in Raritan, according to an obituary released by the Bongiovi Funeral Home.

Matias Ortega-Rosales was killed on the evening of his first birthday when a vehicle hit two cars and then his family as he was being pushed in a stroller by his mother, Domitila Rosales.

Somerville: Gallery Hosts Photo Society's 90th Anniversary Exhibit

July 13, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Arts on Division is presenting “Visions of Raritan Photographic Society – A Celebration of 90 years” from Thursday, July 19 to Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018 at the Gallery on Division, 15B Division Street.

The Raritan Photographic Society, founded in 1929, is the oldest photography club in New Jersey. The exhibit celebrates the organization's 90 years ...

County Kicks Off Summer Concert Series with Bob Miranda and the Happenings

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County Park Commission kicked off its Summer Concert Series at Duke Island Park Sunday with a performance by Bob Miranda and the Happenings.

A very large crowd turned out for the performance by the band made famous in part by the song "See You in September."

The next concert will be held July 15 at 7 p.m. at Duke Island Park, with Billy ...

"Xtreme" Adventures for Teens in Somerset County

BASKING RIDGE, NJ – The Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center  has scheduled a challenging summer program series for teens 13 to 16.

“Xtreme Adventure” is a summer-long series of one-day outdoor programs that will entertain and educate teen girls and boys. All adventures begin at the Environmental Education Center, 190 Lord Stirling ...

Somerville: Gallery Hosts Photo Society's 90th Anniversary Exhibit

July 13, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Arts on Division is presenting “Visions of Raritan Photographic Society – A Celebration of 90 years” from Thursday, July 19 to Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018 at the Gallery on Division, 15B Division Street.

The Raritan Photographic Society, founded in 1929, is the oldest photography club in New Jersey. The exhibit celebrates the organization's 90 years ...

County Kicks Off Summer Concert Series with Bob Miranda and the Happenings

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County Park Commission kicked off its Summer Concert Series at Duke Island Park Sunday with a performance by Bob Miranda and the Happenings.

A very large crowd turned out for the performance by the band made famous in part by the song "See You in September."

The next concert will be held July 15 at 7 p.m. at Duke Island Park, with Billy ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.