crimes

Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s Jaroslava Ruiz convicted of health care fraud

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Jaroslava Ruiz, 50, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States is a former physical therapy office administrator. She and her co-conspirators allegedly defrauded several private health insurers by submitting around $34.6 million in false and fraudulent claims for physical therapy services.

The insurers paid around $7.7 million. However, the services were never actually provided.   

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Ruiz is accused of paying kickbacks and bribes to patient recruiters and patients with private insurance in exchange for allowing four physical therapy clinics in Miami, Florida, USA to bill for medical services that were never actually provided to those patients. To give the impression that the physical therapy services were prescribed by a doctor, medically necessary and actually rendered, she and her co-conspirators falsified medical records.

On August 4, 2022, a federal jury convicted Ruiz for her role in the scheme. She was found guilty of nine counts of health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud.

The Chapel Hill resident will be sentenced on October 26, 2022. She faces up to 10 years in prison on each health care fraud count and up to 20 years in prison on the conspiracy count.

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Chapel Hill was founded in 1793. The town adopted current seal in 1989 and its flag in 1990. 

Fashion designer Alexander Julian, 74, musician Chris Stamey, 67, and actor Sean Bridgers, 54, were all born in Chapel Hill. The town is home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where National Basketball Association legend Michael Jordan, 59, studied cultural geography.

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