FBI: 3 nursing school operators accused of selling fake diplomas, certificates

Three people are accused of selling fake nursing transcripts and diplomas, which were then used by several individuals to obtain medical licenses, according to a July 16 news release from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland.

Patrick Nwaokwu, Musa Bangura and Johanah Napoleon have been charged with conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, conspiracy to commit false statements relating to healthcare matters and false statements to healthcare matters.  

Mr. Nwaokwu and Mr. Bangura owned and operated a nursing school in Virginia, according to the release. In 2013, the school violated state board regulations and closed. After that, Mr. Nwaokwu and Mr. Bangura allegedly operated the former nursing school as an entity where backdated, illegitimate registered nurse or licensed practical nurse transcripts and certifications could be purchased. Mr. Nwaokwu also allegedly coached unqualified individuals to pass nursing board exams. A number of these individuals allegedly obtained employment at several healthcare providers in Maryland, and about 175 have applied to the Maryland Board of Nursing.  

According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Nwaokwu conspired to sell fake nursing degrees from a Florida nursing school established by Ms. Napoleon in 2016. In 2017, the Florida Board of Nursing forced the school to close, citing a low National Council Licensure Examination pass rate.  

Illegitimate transcripts and degrees were sold for between $6,000 and $18,000, according to the news release.

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