WICHITA, Kan. – The operator of a group home for the mentally ill was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for enslaving its residents, forcing them to work naked and perform sex acts, and his wife was sentenced to seven years.
Arlan Kaufman, 69, was convicted in November of 31 federal charges and Linda Kaufman of 30 counts, including health care fraud, Medicare fraud, forced labor and holding clients in involuntary servitude at their Kaufman House Residential Treatment Center.
"You are an arrogant individual, you don't recognize what you have done is wrong," U.S. District Judge Monti Belot told Arlan Kaufman at Monday's sentencing. "You see yourself as a victim of some massive conspiracy."
In sentencing Linda Kaufman to a shorter term, the judge agreed with a psychologist that she had a dependent personality and was manipulated by her husband.
"I feel he is dangerous ... not you," the judge told her.
Prosecutors contended the Kaufmans controlled the lives of their residents, including deciding who could wear clothes and forcing them to fondle each other and commit other acts that Arlan Kaufman videotaped.
"Rather than lawfully and responsibly carrying out their duties as caregivers, the Kaufmans used physical force and threats to intimidate the residents, to isolate them from their families and to sexually humiliate them," U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren said in a statement.
Arlan Kaufman has insisted the residents' behavior was voluntary, saying he videotaped them so they could see themselves more objectively later. Belot called him a hypocrite for his three-hour statement in court in which he apologized to his victims but then went into detail about their sex lives.