An emergency medical technician from Hazlet awaits trial, charged with stealing money from patients.

Felipe Barruos, 25, was indicted by a state grand jury on two counts of third-degree theft by deception and one count of fourth-degree theft by unlawful taking, according to information from the office of New Jersey Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman.

If convicted, Barruos risks a sentence of up to five years and fines as high as $15,000 for each third-degree count, and an 18-month sentence and $10,000 fine for the fourth-degree charge.

Barruos is accused ot taking about $2,200 from three patients he tended while employed by two different private ambulance firms between February and July of this year.

Investigators contend that Barruos accompanied a patient to a shopping center on his day off, offered to hold the patient's purse, and clipped money from it.

He's also accused of conning another patient out of an unspecified amount on the promise of delivering electronic devices at discounts.

Lastly, said investigators, he took hundreds of dollars' worth of coins from a patient, promising to have them appraised, and just kept the coins and other money that the victim handed over.

The Attorney General's office maintains contact lines and portals for insurance fraud. The toll-free hotline is 10877-55-FRAUD (1-877-553-7283). The web-based portal can be found on the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor's web page.