Saturday, February 4, 2023

Dozens arrested in nursing diploma fraud

A fraud scheme that operated for about 5 years and began in South Florida, authorities say, basically served as a shortcut for more than 7,000 people to obtain fake nursing diplomas.

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Marchenzie LaPointe, assured that it was “a system of fraud uncovered by various federal agencies. The sale of more than 7,600 fake nursing diplomas to students across the country.”

The three schools, in addition to the Palm Beach School of Nursing, are the focus of the investigation, Siena College and Sacred Heart in Broward County, according to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Agent Omar Perez, in charge of the Florida Inspector General, explained that it was “a plan, there were accredited schools here in Florida. We were able to arrest those people, they closed the schools, the next step was to arrest those people who were recruiting.

Among the owners and employees of these schools, 21 have already been arrested and 2 more will present themselves before the authorities.

These subjects were charged up to $15,000 for fake diplomas for candidates who needed to obtain a nursing license.

Recruiters said it was a shortcut to avoid the thousands of hours of training required to become certified and promised to help prepare them for state exams.

“They marketed that, and as soon as you paid, they never actually did the service, the guy who was based in Texas, New York, New Jersey and Delaware, called the Florida school here. I have a guy who have already paid here, they will produce it and ship it anywhere”, Perez explains.

Preliminary research indicates that approximately $114 million was paid for these falsified documents and they estimate that approximately 30 percent of those who purchased these diplomas practiced nursing or have practiced it somewhere in the United States, but Now the question arises what will happen to them?

“What is taken is the responsibility of the state. We know that some states have begun to take steps to obtain that license or through their own systems to ensure that that person is brought to justice,” Perez noted.

The agencies in charge of this investigation say they are willing to work with patients who are concerned about the finding.

Now, if you want to know if you were affected, you can contact the Florida Board of Nursing by calling (850) 488-0595. It has the names of all the people involved.

Nation World News Desk
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