Woman pleads guilty in Medicare genetic testing scheme targeting seniors

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As interest in genetic testing rises, one woman faces 10 years in prison for a $1 million Medicare fraud scheme that lured seniors into unnecessary genetic testing.

A fraudulent nonprofit called Good Samaritans of America, run by Sheila Kahl of New Jersey, invited seniors to undergo genetic testing billed to Medicare, Bloomberg BNA reported. Kahl and partner Seth Rehfuss allegedly offered free ice cream and told seniors that without the test results they would be more at risk for heart attacks, strokes, cancer or suicide, authorities said. He faces related charges.

The company operated for roughly 18 months, until December 2015.

Kahl pleaded guilty on Dec. 1 in United States v. Kahl, District Court for the District of New Jersey. She may receive up to a decade in prison and a $250,000 fine on a charge of healthcare fraud conspiracy, as well as a separate fine in the same amount for conspiracy to wrongfully access individually identifiable health information and to pay kickbacks. Sentencing has been scheduled for March 14.