A press report on the guilty pleas of more FBI Operation Nightingale defendants traces the enforcement action to a tip, an undercover operation, and two targets whose guilty pleas and informing broke open the scandal. The FBI's charges against more than two dozen Florida nursing school officials are affecting the licenses, jobs, and careers of thousands of nurses nationwide.
While tips, undercover operations, and informants may be standard fare for federal investigations, the public is right to look hard at the credibility of criminal cases relying on informants caught in undercover operations.
Just because your name may be on the FBI informants' lists of literally thousands of nurses earning credentials from the involved nursing schools doesn't mean you've done anything wrong. Retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team and national license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento to help you defend the credibility of your nursing credentials. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now.
The FBI Operation Nightingale's Origins
A reporter focusing on federal crimes across South Florida and Latin America put together the Miami Herald press report on Operation Nightingale's origins. That report concludes:
“The investigation, aptly dubbed Operation Nightingale, began in 2019 with a tip from Maryland that led to an FBI undercover operation that initially targeted two Fort Lauderdale business people… who both pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. They cooperated with authorities and were sentenced to more than two years and three months in prison in 2022.”
The Value of FBI Cooperation
A Department of Justice press release indicates that the criminal defendants in these cases, presumably including the informants who received the two-year sentences, faced up to twenty years in prison on the federal charges. Twenty years down to two years suggests a great deal of cooperation. And indeed, the school officials who pled guilty gave over to the FBI lists of thousands of nursing students and nurses who allegedly bought fraudulent credentials. The Department of Justice press release says that those names number more than 7,600. State licensing officials have been suspending, revoking, or threatening the licenses of those thousands of nurses since the scandal broke with the additional charges.
The Risk of Informant Evidence
Informant evidence may be necessary for criminal investigations and charges. But informant evidence is always suspect because of the interest that the informant has in giving up the evidence. Evidence rules always permit impeachment of a witness for the witness's personal interest as a motive for testifying falsely. Avoiding twenty years in prison is a lot of personal interest. When federal authorities put together and published their very long list of nursing students and nurses allegedly buying false credentials, they were apparently relying on informant evidence subject to reasonable challenge out of personal interest.
Premier License Defense Available
Don't face nursing license proceedings alone. Retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team and national license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento if you face or expect to face licensing, school, or employment proceedings over your nursing school credentials. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now for the help you need for your best outcome to nursing credentials issues.