A Miami Herald article documents two more guilty pleas to federal criminal fraud charges in the nationwide Operation Nightingale nursing school credentials scandal. FBI agents had obtained those federal charges against more than two dozen Florida nursing school officials. Now, some of those officials are admitting to the charged criminal misconduct.
Nursing school officials pleading guilty to federal criminal charges increases the risk of license discipline and employment termination for nurses implicated in the growing scandal. Retain the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team and national license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento if you attended one of the now-closed Florida nursing schools implicated in the scandal or if you face a licensing proceeding or employment proceeding relating to your nursing school credentials. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now for premier license defense representation.
The Nursing Scandal Guilty Pleas
The Miami Herald article reports that an official operating Sacred Heart International Institute in Fort Lauderdale and another official operating Siena College of Health in Lauderhill each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. The two defendants now face up to twenty years in prison, although in accepting responsibility and cooperating with the investigation, the defendants may receive considerably lighter sentences. These two defendants joined another defendant, an official at Palm Beach School of Nursing, who had already pled guilty to similar charges, and two other defendants who pled guilty and received sentences of just over two years, not the twenty-year maximum.
Impacts Beyond the Closed Nursing Schools
The criminal charges have implicated several other now-closed schools, including Quisqueya School of Nursing, Sunshine Academy, Med-Life Institute West Palm Beach, and Quisqueya Health Care Academy. The scandal has reportedly reached other nursing schools or referral organizations, including Carleen Health Institute of South Florida, Med-Life Institute Lauderdale Lakes, Myrielle School of Nursing, Nursing Bridges Institute, Palm Beach International College, Suncoast College of Health, and Techni-Pro Institute. State licensing boards and nurse employers are also investigating the credentials of nurses with similar profiles to those whom the defendant officials have implicated, with immigrant backgrounds and attending online or other non-traditional nursing schools. Thousands of nurses nationwide are dealing with the scandal's impact.
Guilty Plea Impacts on Practicing Nurses
The guilty pleas increase the risk for nurses having similar profiles. First, each guilty plea confirms the factual and legal basis for the criminal charges. Charges are one thing. Convictions by guilty plea are another. With every conviction, state licensing officials and nurse employers must take the charges more seriously. But guilty pleas with the assurance of lighter sentences also prompt the defendant school officials to give federal investigators more names of nurses allegedly holding suspect credentials. Unfortunately, that's the game that criminal defendants and federal prosecutors can appear to play, and it's no game. You could face false and entirely fabricated allegations, just because a criminal defendant wants a lighter sentence for their own wrongdoing.
What to Do When Facing Nursing Credentials Issues
Don't wait to address your suspect credentials issues. Retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team now for the skills and experience you need to address your credentials issue before they cost you your license and career. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now.