August 14, 2013 —
Nelson Ruiz, a resident of Shohola, was sentenced to four years in prison after being convicted of defrauding the New York City School District out of approximately $2.7 million. He must also repay the money.
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said that Ruiz also bribed a Department of Education (DOE) employee in furtherance of the fraud scheme.
Ruiz pled guilty in December 2012 to one count of mail fraud and one count of bribery. According to a press release, from 2008 through June 2012, Ruiz used six companies that he controlled to bill the DOE for sign language interpretation services that were to have been provided to 11 New York City students with specials needs.
According to Bharara, none of the sign language interpretation services for which the DOE paid were ever provided to any of the students, and none of the students actually needed the services that Ruiz’s companies claimed to have provided.
Ruiz also used students’ personal information, submitted fraudulent DOE applications and billing forms, and forged the signatures of at least two students’ parents and seven DOE officials.