Kaufmans Ordered To Pay One-Half Million To Abuse Victims
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 15, 2006
WICHITA, KANSAS--A federal judge has ordered Arlen Kaufman, 69, and his wife, Linda Kaufman, 62, to pay more than $500,000 in restitution to Kaufman House group home residents they victimized for more than two decades.
The pair was convicted last November on a total of 61 charges of forced labor, involuntary servitude, health-care fraud, Medicare fraud, and making false representations. In January, Mr. Kaufman was sentenced to 30 years in prison, while his wife was sentenced to seven years.
The former residents, who have mental illnesses, had testified that the couple abused and mistreated them, forced them to do household and outdoor tasks entirely in the nude, and then intimidated them to keep them from reporting the abuse. They also said Mr. Kaufman held therapy sessions during which he forced them to perform sexual acts, which he and Mrs. Kaufman videotaped.
Last Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Monti Belot said "virtually every person who ever resided at Kaufman House would qualify as a victim."
Belot noted, however, that it is unlikely the victims would be paid the full amount because the sale of the couple's property is not expected to bring in more than $270,000.
The judge also said that Mr. Kaufman's arguments that he should not have to pay restitution "continue to reflect his arrogant refusal to acknowledge not only his wrongdoing, but also that no rational, responsible person anywhere in the civilized world would view his conduct as acceptable, much less that of a professional whom society reasonably expected to help, not harm, persons who were dependent on him."
Two former residents who survived the Kaufmans' abuse turned into powerful advocates, and successfully lobbied Kansas lawmakers to pass a law to provide added protections to group home residents.
"Kaufmans told to pay victims" (Wichita Eagle)
"Judge orders payments of nearly $535,000 in group home fraud case" (Associated Press)