Nurse Licensing Scheme In Florida Results In Fraud Charges
When a person wants to become a licensed nurse in Florida, they have to follow certain procedures, such as submit an application and pay a fee. This requires the proper education as well, such as a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
There are no shortcuts to licensure. However, a recent scheme in Florida defrauded aspiring nurses out of their money. These people were looking for a shortcut and they instead got a fake license.
More than two dozen people have been charged in the Southern District of Florida for participating in a wire fraud scheme. The people sold fraudulent nursing degree diplomas and transcripts to those looking to work as nurses.
The defendants engaged in a scheme to sell bogus diplomas and transcripts obtained from accredited Florida-based nursing schools to those looking to work as registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/VNs). The individuals created and distributed fraudulent transcripts and diplomas representing that the aspiring candidates had attended the schools.
The buyers of the fake licenses would be allowed to sit for the national nursing board. If they passed it, they would be able to obtain licenses and jobs in various states as RNs and LPN/VNs. The defendants distributed more than 7,600 fake nursing diplomas issued by three South Florida nursing schools: Siena College in Broward County, Sacred Heart International Institute in Broward County, and Palm Beach School of Nursing in Palm Beach County. These schools are now closed.
Crimes such as these continue to spring up in Florida. Health care fraud is nothing new to South Florida, as many scammers see this as a way to earn easy money. However, this a public safety concern, as the aspiring nurses never completed the necessary courses and clinicals. The health and safety of patients across the country are at risk, as there are more than 7,600 people in the United States with fraudulent nursing credentials who are potentially in critical health care roles treating patients.
Those involved in this scheme are facing wire fraud charges, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. The charges speak to the purpose of a nursing license, which is to set minimum qualifications and competencies in order to protect the public from harm.
Multiple agencies investigated this case, including FBI Miami, HHS-OIG Miami, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs-Office of Inspector General, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.
Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Nursing License Lawyer
As a nurse, it’s important that you get your license the right way. Nurses need to have the right education and experience to provide a certain standard of care to patients. A fake license does not provide this.
If you are facing administrative issues and you have a real license, a Tampa nursing license lawyer from The Law Offices of David P. Rankin, P.A. can protect your career by helping you keep your license. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call (813) 968-6633.