Sunday, August 19, 2007

Is that a fly in my soup?

"We would go to a restaurant, and I'd say I had glass in my food. Then I would go to the hospital and say I was in pain," stated Ronald Evano, 49.

The scheme began when Ronald's wife went to the hospital claiming she ate glass at a Boston restaurant in 1997 and the Evanos settled with the restaurant's insurer for $22,000. In the years that followed, one or both of them claimed to have eaten glass at establishments in Braintree and Quincy MA, Bethesda and Gaithersburg MD, Washington D C , Providence RI and Midlothian VA.

Assistant U S Attorney Jack Pirozzolo stated that the two had been treated at hospitals for glass ingestions at least a dozen times. They collected payments from insurance companies and one time even accepted a $45,000 payment directly from the restaurant. All told, the couple filed false claims for $200,000 and left behind a trail of unpaid medical bills that amounts to approximately $100,000 between 1997 to 2005.

Ronald stated that the couple had intentionally eaten glass because they needed the money. They also had used false names, false social security numbers and identity cards to make their numerous claims.

On Wednesday, August 15 2007, Ronald pleaded guilty in U S District Court to 20 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, identity fraud, making false statements on health care matters and Social Security fraud. Authorities must have been feeling a bit kind though because they agreed to drop four counts of health care fraud and identity fraud in the agreement. Ronald is being held at Norfolk County Jail awaiting what could be a 100 year jail term when he is sentenced next month.

As for his "lovely" wife Mary, an arrest warrent was issued last year for her on the same charges as her husband and she is still being sought.

"I thought if I was making it up, it wasn't illegal. Now I know it is," stated Evano.

I do have to give the Evanos credit, at least they went to the extreme of actually eating what they claimed had been in their food. His wife Mary, may well be on a beach somewhere, ingesting whatever else she can to pay the bills.

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