Jennifer Massimo-Ruiz, 32, of Belmar, NJ has received a four-year state prison sentence after pleading guilty to third-degree insurance fraud. According to John J. Hoffman, acting Attorney General, Massimo-Ruiz defrauded the state after submitting a false claim to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development for more than $8,800 of state temporary disability insurance.
On September 9th, 2013, Massimo-Ruiz entered her guilty plea and proceeded to admit she had submitted a false claim to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development containing fraudulent information on or around April 19th, 2010. According to WorkersCompensation.com, “New Jersey’s temporary disability law requires that a person be employed in the past year in order to be eligible for temporary disability benefits.”
The case was referred to the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor and an investigation followed. Massimo-Ruiz claimed she worked as an office manager at a family-owned company from the years of 2008 to 2010. In March of 2010, she was “eligible” for temporary disability benefits as she “went out” on maternity leave. However, the investigation determined that Massimo-Ruiz had not worked the year prior to applying for benefits.
As if committing insurance fraud wasn’t enough, one year of her sentence had been tacked on after Massimo-Ruiz falsely claimed she had cancer in multiple letters sent to Superior Court Judge, Robert J. Mega, in an attempt to “avoid or influence the pending sentencing,” according to the article by WorkersCompensation.com. She also admitted to forging two doctors’ signatures on the above mentioned letters. An additional year was added onto her sentence, bringing the grand total to four years in state prison.