Defense attorneys for a Newton couple charged with victimizing mentally ill patients filed motions Friday seeking dismissal of the federal case and suppression of evidence obtained by prosecutors.
Topeka attorneys Tom Haney and Chris Joseph submitted motions in U.S. District Court in Topeka on behalf of their clients, Arlan D. and Linda J. Kaufman, both of Newton.
The Kaufmans were taken into custody in October 2004 and face a 34-count indictment that alleges Medicare fraud, manufacture of false documents, obstruction of a federal audit, and conspiracy tied to sexual and mental abuse of disabled people living in group homes they operated in Newton.
“We want to bring to the court’s attention what we think are the constitutional errors and misconduct of investigative authorities,” Haney said.
The Kaufmans entered a plea of not guilty to all charges. Their trial is scheduled for October in Topeka before U.S. District Court Judge Sam Crow.
Joseph said the indictment should be thrown out because federal agents improperly confiscated documents from the Kaufmans that were protected by attorney-client privilege.
In addition, he said, the indictment violated the Kaufmans’ right to due process because it wasn’t brought in a timely manner.
Motions related to suppression of evidence cover material seized by federal agents during a raid of the Kaufmans’ private residence in 2001. That material ranges from medical records of Kaufman patients to videotapes of what appeared to be nude therapy sessions with residents of Kaufman group homes.
The defense also moved to exclude evidence seized in the October 2004 raid of the Kaufmans’ home, at which time the couple was arrested. The motion says these items should be suppressed because each was obtained with a search warrant tainted by “the fruit of the illegal 2001 search.”
Defense attorneys requested alteration of the Kaufmans’ condition of release from jail.
The couple seeks elimination of a court order requiring that they wear monitoring devices. They also want to be free of house arrest, which limits their travel to church services, grocery shopping and attorney meetings.
Tim Carpenter can be reached at (785) 296-3005 and at [email protected]
By Tim Carpenter
THE TOPEKA CAPITAL-JOURNAL