MIAMI (AP) - Federal authorities in Florida have charged 25 people with participating in a wire fraud scheme that created an illegal shortcut for aspiring nurses to get licensed and find employment.
Recently unsealed federal grand jury indictments allege the defendants took part in a scam that sold more than 7,600 fraudulent nursing degree diplomas from three Florida-based nursing schools, federal officials said during a news conference in Miami on Wednesday afternoon. Prosecutors said the scheme also involved transcripts from the nursing schools for people seeking licenses and jobs as registered nurses and licensed practical/vocational nurses. The defendants each face up to 20 years in prison.
"Not only is this a public safety concern, it also tarnishes the reputation of nurses who actually complete the demanding clinical and course work required to obtain their professional licenses and employment," said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Markenzy Lapointe.
Lapointe added that "a fraud scheme like this erodes public trust in our health care system."
The fake diplomas and transcripts qualified those who purchased them to sit for the national nursing board exam. If they passed, they were able to obtain licenses and jobs in various states, prosecutors said.
The schools involved - Siena College, Palm Beach School of Nursing and Sacred Heart International Institute - are now closed.
Some of those who purchased degrees were from South Florida's Haitian-American community, including some with legitimate LPN licenses who wanted to become registered nurses, the Miami Herald reported.
"Health care fraud is nothing new to South Florida, as many scammers see this as a way to earn easy, though illegal, money," acting Special Agent in Charge Chad Yarbrough said Wednesday.
He said it's particularly disturbing that more than 7,600 people around the country obtained fake credentials and were potentially in critical health care roles treating patients.
The selling and purchasing of nursing diplomas and transcripts to "willing but unqualified individuals" is a crime that "potentially endangers the health and safety of patients and insults the honorable profession of nursing," said Special Agent in Charge Omar Pérez Aybar. Pérez said investigators have not found, however, that any of the nurses caused harm to patients.
The students paid a total of $114 million for the fake degrees between 2016 and 2021, the newspaper reported. About 2,400 of the 7,600 students eventually passed their licensing exams - mainly in New York, federal officials said. Nurses certified in New York are allowed to practice in Florida and many other states.
Many of those people may lose their certification but likely won't be criminally charged, federal officials said.
lanoxin 250mg sale buy lanoxin 250mg generic molnunat online orderREPLY
buy acetazolamide 250 mg pills order isosorbide 20mg order azathioprine 25mg genericREPLY
purchase digoxin online cheap order molnunat for sale order molnunat 200 mg without prescriptionREPLY
amoxicillin 500mg oral order amoxicillin 500mg pills ivermectin pills for humansREPLY
order coreg pills ditropan 5mg for sale order amitriptyline 10mg online cheapREPLY
buy priligy 30mg online cheap dapoxetine 30mg for sale buy motilium 10mg genericREPLY
buy alendronate 35mg sale order ibuprofen pills oral ibuprofen 600mgREPLY
purchase indocin for sale buy flomax 0.2mg for sale purchase cenforce saleREPLY
nortriptyline 25 mg for sale paxil 20mg for sale order paxil saleREPLY
order pepcid online pepcid 40mg sale cheap remeronREPLY
doxycycline 200mg uk purchase doxycycline sale buy medrol 8mg onlineREPLY
buy requip 1mg pills labetalol 100 mg without prescription order trandate genericREPLY
buy tadalafil 10mg pill trimox over the counter amoxicillin 250mg over the counterREPLY
purchase tricor pills order fenofibrate 160mg without prescription usa viagra salesREPLY
real cialis fast shipping tadalafil dosage buy sildenafil 100mg saleREPLY
order minocin online cheap order minocycline 100mg terazosin 1mg oralREPLY
cialis online canada levitra buy buy erectile dysfunction medsREPLY
buy glycomet 1000mg generic order nolvadex 20mg pills purchase nolvadex pillsREPLY
order provigil 100mg pills order provigil pills phenergan order onlineREPLY
serophene buy online order lipitor 40mg without prescription buy prednisolone 20mg saleREPLY
prednisone 20mg over the counter isotretinoin 10mg cheap cheap amoxil 1000mgREPLY
brand accutane 10mg order ampicillin 500mg generic ampicillin tabletREPLY
fildena 100mg pill buy lyrica for sale proscar oralREPLY
buy oral stromectol top erection pills deltasone 5mg pillREPLY
zofran 4mg oral generic amoxil 500mg bactrim without prescriptionREPLY
order absorica sale purchase isotretinoin online zithromax canadaREPLY
purchase ventolin inhalator online cheap augmentin 1000mg sale augmentin 625mg genericREPLY
prednisolone 40mg cost gabapentin 800mg brand order lasix 100mg pillsREPLY
order modafinil 200mg pills provigil 100mg us lopressor 50mg priceREPLY