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Arrests made in Florida over fake nursing diploma scheme [Video]

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:


  • Twenty-five people school officials in South Florida are being investigated for selling 7,600 fake diplomas to nursing license applicants.
  • The fake degrees and transcripts allow applicants to sit for the national nursing board exam.
  • According to reports, nursing students paid a total of $114 million for fraudulent degrees.

Twenty-five people have been arrested for their involvement in a scheme to sell fake degrees and transcripts from three nursing schools in South Florida, according to newly unsealed court documents.

The schools are being investigated for allegedly selling more than 7,600 fake diplomas, federal prosecutors announced on Wednesday.

Nursing aspirants who bought these fake diplomas will be allowed to sit for the national nursing board exam and secure licenses and jobs in various states, the Department of Justice said.

Reports identified the three schools involved as Siena College, Palm Beach School of Nursing and Sacred Heart International Institute. All three have since closed after the news broke.

Each of the 25 defendants can be sentenced to 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 Markenzy Lapointe, a U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, in a statement.

A fraud scheme such as this “erodes public trust in our health care system,” Lapointe added.

According to reports from the Miami Herald, many who purchased the fake degrees were from South Florida’s Haitian American community and had legitimate LPN licenses as part of their bid to become registered nurses. Others who bought them were from out of state.

The Herald reported that around 7,600 nursing students paid a total of $114 million for fraudulent degrees.

Nursing boards in all 50 states have been notified of the students who passed nursing exams with a fraudulent degree, though the students themselves will not be criminally charged, the Herald reports.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. CPO Bill

    January 29, 2023 at 6:59 pm

    My wife worked nights and went to school days and helped raise our three sons to earn her degree to become an R, N. and Army Nurse! Jail those cheating fake cocksuckers!

  2. Bob Smirts

    January 29, 2023 at 7:11 pm

    Our own NIH and FDA already screwed the Medical community along with help from the CDC killing 278,000 with untested jabs. I think you should ALL be sent to prison, or hung and we’ll start over with a new medical system.

  3. Sanjosemike

    January 29, 2023 at 7:21 pm

    When I applied for my surgical residency at a VA hospital after I graduated, the VA required an actual direct mail of my National Board Scores, my graduation certificate and a direct mail of my Ohio State medical license. I could not mail copies. They had to be direct from the various venues.

    I am not aware of any people who would get this position without a REAL medical license. I wonder how so many got in?

    That said, I cannot imagine a fraudulent entry to a surgical residency of a person who did not actually go to medical school. It would be impossible to fake, in my opinion.

    Lack of oversite, I guess.

    Sanjosemike (no longer in CA)
    Retired surgeon

    • Matt

      February 5, 2023 at 10:54 am

      To San Jose Mike: one would hope what you said is true but have you ever heard of Michael Swango? He was a serial killing doctor who faked all of what you just described. You should read ‘A Blind Eye’

    • Jeffry L Brinkley

      February 5, 2023 at 7:33 pm

      Really Bob. It takes years to become a MD, Rns, nurse practitioner or physician assistant. Years.
      If I understand your solution is to just start anew.
      My question to you and those that think this is a “start over” scenario.

  4. Robert

    January 29, 2023 at 8:12 pm

    I couldn’t imagine going to the hospital and being treated by someone who literally bought their degrees. I would sue everyone involved. This cannot happen in our health care system.

    • Sanjosemike

      January 29, 2023 at 9:19 pm

      When I was diagnosed with Covid 4 months ago at a satellite ER, I was dehydrated. I said to him: “The most common cause of blood dyscrasias in elderly people is dehydration.”

      He said: “You’re a doctor.”

      You cannot fake this.

      We had a nice talk. He basically said, we’ll treat you as you wish. Then he asked me what I wanted.

      Happily I got over it in about 2 weeks.

      Sanjosemike (no longer in CA)
      Retired surgeon

  5. Anita Maiers

    January 29, 2023 at 9:15 pm

    I am appalled that these nurses will not be charged when they were well aware of not having the proper credentials. I am a registered nurse with masters degree that I worked hard for and paid full tuition. They should be punished with either 1 year in jail or work for a hospital as an aide for 1 year FREE. I hope that no one died under their care and if that happened – I hope they are sued.

  6. Deidre Pauline Tait

    January 29, 2023 at 9:31 pm

    The 7,600 who bought the fraudulent degrees all need to be criminally charged and prosecuted and sent to jail. How can we trust anyone in the medical field because of this? Better off going to a veterinarian.

  7. Marie O

    January 29, 2023 at 11:06 pm

    If someone in my family was cared for by one of these fraudulent nurses, I’d sue the nurse, the hospital, the healthcare system as well as the scums who profited from this outrageous scam.
    I can’t imagine taking care of someone without having the knowledge base of anatomy and physiology to understand the human body and disease. I pity the poor patients who were under their care!!!!!

  8. Rambo68

    January 29, 2023 at 11:28 pm

    Military Nurses who leave the military must have certain credentials from the State they move to after the military in order to get a job even after doing it for 20 years in the military.
    So these people that bought there’s should be outed, fired, and never allowed to work in that position again.

  9. JOICE STOKES-JAMES, MPA, BSN,RN

    January 30, 2023 at 10:52 am

    I pray that the state will expose all the fake nurses licenses to every board of nursing. This is so common in many states . There needs to be more oversight in the credential process. These people get fake license to practice nursing and open senior care centers to exploit the poor and elderly. This is America we should never allow this lack of oversight to exist .The system is broke.
    When I took my license exam I sat for 2 1/2 days pencil and paper. Maybe we should revisit the NCLEX testing system.

  10. jil

    January 30, 2023 at 9:13 pm

    as we all know – scams are happeing day in day out – what is sad, the ones who set these scams up follow the scams that are setup through the goverment thinking if they can get away with it (WASHington DC swamp rats) I should also be allowed – weather u think this is a stretch of a comparision, the nurses scam is just another was to embezzle money out of people – the people who do this should be jailed also along with the ones who set it up – if these people are not citizens that have done this, jail time first and then deport them out of the country – seizes all their assets, bank accounts and do a court seizure of all real estate holdings- if they want to make a statement to stop scams like this, the penalties and fines have to be over the top with judgement coming down upon them – if they slap them on the hands and allow them to walk free, the crimnals will continue

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