BOSTON – A man was sentenced Thursday to more than five years in prison for his role in a multistate insurance fraud scheme in which federal prosecutors said he and his wife intentionally ate glass fragments and collected more than $200,000 in compensation.
Ronald Evano, 49, also was ordered to repay $340,000 for his role in defrauding restaurants, grocery stores, insurers, hospitals and doctors in the scheme in which he and his wife claimed that there was glass in the food they ate.
Prosecutors say Evano and his wife, Mary, who remains a fugitive, filed fraudulent insurance claims worth more than $200,000 and incurred more than $100,000 in unpaid medical bills in several states between 1997 and 2005.
In August, Evano pleaded guilty in federal court to 20 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, identity theft, making false statements on health care matters and Social Security fraud. Prosecutors dropped four counts of identity fraud and health care fraud in the plea agreement.
An arrest warrant was issued last year for Mary Evano on the same charges as her husband.
The couple claimed that the glass was in food they had eaten at restaurants and grocery stores in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland and Washington D.C.
Prosecutors said the two were treated at hospitals for glass ingestions at least a dozen times. They allegedly collected payments from insurance companies but never paid their hospital bills.
Evano asked the judge for mercy, saying in court that he and his wife are members of the minority Roma community, and needed the money to pay for dowries and other costs associated with the marriages of his sons under cultural practices.