Couple Indicted in Nude Servitude Case
TOPEKA, Kan. – A couple already charged with forcing mentally ill residents of the group home they operated to work on their farm in the nude were indicted Wednesday on 35 charges including involuntary servitude and health care fraud.
The indictment, returned by a federal grand jury, replaces one issued in November that charged Arlan D. Kaufman (search), 68, and his wife, Linda J. Kaufman, 61, with a single count of involuntary servitude.
They now face three counts of holding group home residents in involuntary servitude and two counts of forcing them to perform manual labor, as well as 16 counts of health care fraud (search), among other charges.
Authorities allegple received more than $200,000 by submitting fraudulent bills to Medicare (search).
The Kaufmans operated the home for adults with mental disabilities in Newton, in central Kansas, since 1995. The original servitude charge stemmed from an allegation that residents of the home were forced to work in the nude at the couple's farm in Potwin, about 50 miles from the group home, in 1999.
The new indictment accuses the Kaufmans of forcing group home residents to perform sexually explicit acts and manual labor. The indictment also alleges the Kaufmans videotaped some of the sexual contacts during purported therapy sessions.
James Wyrsch, an attorney representing the couple, said Wednesday night that he had not seen the indictment but that the Kaufmans "intend to plead not guilty and vigorously defend themselves."