A New Jersey man is facing fraud charges after a federal grand jury agreed he took advantage of senior citizens. The man is accused of operating a nonprofit with the intention of defrauding people with unnecessary tests. According to Tapinto.net, Seth Rehfuss, 43, of Somerset NJ, used a nonprofit agency called Good Samaritans of America to commit “health care fraud and conspiracy to wrongfully access individually identifiable health information and to pay illegal remunerations to health care professionals.” The fraud lasted from July 2014 through December 2015, while he managed to deceive low-income seniors. The victims were told Good Samaritans of America was a nonprofit that helps seniors understand the federal benefit programs. But, the article says, the organization was a fraud. He actually used the nonprofit to scare victims into genetic testing. The indictment says Rehfuss used fear-based tactics by suggesting the seniors could be at risk for heart attacks, strokes, or cancer and even suicide if they did not have the genetic testing. He told them he was offering “personalized medicine.”
The article says that Rehfuss took DNA swabs from senior citizens in their homes and community rooms during fear-based presentations designed to get their personal information. He apparently tried to recruit healthcare providers on Craigslist. Once they signed a contract the healthcare providers received requisition forms that often included a patient’s personal information, Medicare information, medication lists, and diagnosis codes. The healthcare providers that choose to cooperate were paid to sign-off on requisition forms authorizing testing for patients “they never examined”.
The fraudulent scheme racked up over $1 million in Medicare costs at two laboratories. He also shared his commissions with a co-conspirator, Sheila Kahl. Together authorities say they were planning to expand to Georgia, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Michigan, Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, and Arizona. The healthcare fraud conspiracy means he could be put away for a decade and pay a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The conspiracy charge carries a possible 5-year sentence and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. His co-conspirator, Sheila Kahl pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.