Over 7,600 Fake Diplomas Were Given At Florida Nursing Schools & Graduates Practice In US
Thousands of fake nursing diplomas were distributed at three different South Florida schools in recent years and law enforcement agencies are finally cracking down. Around 25 people have now been charged with fraud while these diplomas, on the basis of which their holders have been practicing around the country, are also being revoked.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) released a statement on January 25 revealing that 25 people are charged in a wire fraud scheme for their alleged participation in creating an "illegal licensing and employment shortcut for aspiring nurses."
The three colleges the documentation traces back to include Siena College and Sacred Heart International Institute in Broward County and Palm Beach School of Nursing in Palm Beach County.
The diplomas allowed individuals to take the exam, pass it and get illegally certified in various states as Registered Nurses (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN). Some of the students at Palm Beach didn't even take the necessary courses as per industry standards, as per the DOJ release.
These diploma-holders have been found to be working with healthcare providers across America and actively treating patients, which is something acting Special Agent for FBI Miami, Chad Yarbrough called "disturbing."
Chief Yarbrough said, "healthcare fraud is nothing new to South Florida, as many scammers see this as a way to earn easy, though illegal, money."
Many states are now taking action and these nurses are losing their positions.
A couple of days after the release of the DOJ's statement, three nurses were removed from the VA Medical Center in Atlanta, according to 11Alive.
KING5 reported that 150 people in Washington state were identified in the area to be a part of this scandal and at least 7 licenses have already been rescinded.
Each educational facility is now closed down, there are no traces of recent social media activity and the defendants could face 20 years in prison.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.