Former New Mexico Insurance Regulator’s Convictions Upheld

December 31, 2009

A federal appeals court has upheld the convictions of former New Mexico insurance regulator Joe Ruiz on corruption charges.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Ruiz’s convictions of extortion, mail fraud, wire fraud and corruption solicitation.

Ruiz was convicted last year of soliciting charitable donations from insurance companies in exchange for reducing regulatory fines. Ruiz directed companies to make payments to a nonprofit health foundation or an arts group that bought a bilingual children’s book he had written. Ruiz earned royalties from the books.

The health foundation was formed by former State Insurance Superintendent Eric Serna, who had recruited Ruiz for his regulatory job.

Ruiz was sentenced to four years in prison.

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