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Belmar Woman Sentenced in Disability Fraud Case

After reaching a plea agreement, Belmar woman faked cancer diagnosis to try and disrupt the sentencing process

A Belmar woman is headed to state prison after being sentenced Friday for submitting a claim containing fraudulent information to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development in order to collect state temporary disability insurance monies to which she was not entitled.

Jennifer Massimo-Ruiz, 32, was sentenced to four years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Robert J. Mega in Union County, John J. Hoffman, Acting New Jersey Attorney General announced Friday in a statement.  The sentence was based on Massimo-Ruiz’s Sept. 9 guilty plea to third-degree insurance fraud. The charge was contained in a July 25, 2013 state grand jury indictment.

Massimo-Ruiz admitted in court today that she submitted three letters to Mega falsely stating that she had cancer, the statement said. She also admitted to forging the signatures of two doctors on the letters.

Massimo-Ruiz said that she submitted the letters in an effort to avoid or influence the pending sentencing. As a result of the letters, the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor and the defendant reached a revised plea agreement in which the state recommended that Massimo be sentenced to four years in state prison rather than three years to which the state had previously agreed in September.

In pleading guilty on Sept. 9, 2013, Massimo-Ruiz admitted that on or about April 19, 2010, she submitted a claim form to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development containing fraudulent information. As a result of the fraud, Massimo-Ruiz received $8,819 in disability insurance benefits to which she was not entitled. 

According to prosecutors, 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. An investigation by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that Massimo-Ruiz had not been employed during the 52 weeks prior to submitting her application for temporary disability benefits. The investigation, authorities said, revealed that Massimo-Ruiz falsely stated that she was employed as an office manager from 2008 to 2010 and was therefore eligible for temporary disability insurance benefits when she went out on maternity leave, starting in March 2010. The company for which Massimo-Ruiz purported to be working was owned by her family members.
JOHN DILLMAR July 12, 2014 at 06:06 AM
These "quick rich deals" never work........dope
John Teasley July 12, 2014 at 07:16 AM
She gets four years and Kelsey Pegler, from Roof Diagnostis gets one year for Insurance fraud of $400,000. 'Equal Justice' in America my foot.
George Chin July 12, 2014 at 10:29 AM
She is no loser!! we are paying for her 3 meals, bed, medical and dental, tv, library,and gym!!!!
George Chin July 12, 2014 at 10:32 AM
The article did not say if she is a US citizen if not she should be deported NOT jailed at our expense!!!!
Dame Bridgid July 12, 2014 at 11:37 PM
Would a criminal convicted of fraud LIE to a judge about having cancer to a judge to evade sentencing? Isn't fraud LYING? What a surprise! How shocking! <sarcasm> I wish they could double her sentence for claiming to be a cancer patient. Shameless con artist.

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