Washington, D.C./ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 15, 2024
Former D.C. Human Services Official and Accomplice Charged with Extortion in Healthcare SchemeSource: Unsplash/ Mackenzie Marco

Two Washington D.C. insiders are facing the music today after being slapped with extortion and conspiracy charges. Ruth Nivar, a former D.C. Department of Human Services official, and her alleged accomplice, Yessica Moya, were arrested in a scheme exploiting those seeking healthcare coverage from the government. The indictment, unsealed yesterday, claims that the extortion began no later than November 2022, with Nivar accused of strong-arming payments to process health care benefits, the U.S. Attorney's Office revealed.

The duo's alleged racket was simple: applicants desperate for healthcare were allegedly squeezed for cash, and in comes Moya, introduced to the plot to keep a lid on Nivar's paper trail and shake off any heat from law enforcement. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, together with the FBI's Washington Field Office and the Office of the Inspector General of the District of Columbia, got the pair in their sights and moved in to make the arrest today.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Madhu Chugh, on the front lines of prosecuting corruption, is handling the case backed by the full might of the Fraud, Public Corruption, and Civil Rights Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The stakes are high for Nivar and Moya, with each staring down a barrel of a 20-year maximum sentence for the Hobbs Act extortion charges, and an additional five years for conspiring to commit the same act. These maximum sentences are no mere guidelines; they're set by Congress, with each defendant's fate ultimately in the hands of the court.

While the legal gears grind forward, those following the case wait to see if justice will be served. The indictment lays out a sobering narrative of public service gone rogue – a cautionary tale that reminds the citizens of D.C. that even those trusted to serve can be seduced by a culture of corruption. The next chapter will unfold in the courtroom as the accused prepare to answer for their alleged avarice. For more details on this developing story, visit the U.S. Attorney's Office website.