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Three Defendants Charged in Fraudulent Nursing Diploma Scheme


Three defendants have recently been sentenced to federal prison for executing a scheme to operate a nursing diploma mill. According to federal authorities, the defendants were charged along with 11 co-conspirators for their involvement in a scheme to sell fraudulent nursing degree diplomas and transcripts obtained from two private nursing schools. These schools were once approved by the State of Florida to issue diplomas and transcripts to those seeking nursing licenses and jobs as registered nurses (RNs) and license practical/vocational nurses (LPN/VNs).

These bogus diplomas allowed purchasers to sit for the national nursing board exam. After passing the exam, they would be able to obtain licenses and jobs as RNs and LPN/VNs. Authorities say that the scheme resulted in the distribution of more than 7,600 fake nursing diplomas. These diplomas were distributed by the Palm Beach School of Nursing and Quisqueya School of Nursing LLC in Palm Beach County, Florida. The schools have since been shut down due to excessive failure rates of students who ended up taking the state nursing board exam.

Those who passed the national nursing board exam used the fraudulent transcripts and diplomas to obtain RN or LPN/VN licenses and nursing jobs from health care providers throughout the United States.

In addition to the three most recent convictions, another 11 defendants entered guilty pleas to conspiracy to commit wire fraud charges. A total of 27 defendants were charged and convicted in 2023 for their role in distributing fake diplomas and transcripts. The defendants are accused of creating an illegal licensing and employment shortcut for aspiring nurses.

The last three defendants were sentenced to federal prison after being found guilty of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud charges following a three-week trial in Fort Lauderdale. The registrar of the Palm Beach School of Nursing in Lake Worth, Florida was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release, a $20,000 fine and the forfeiture of $861,672. The owner and operator of Success Nursing Review in Brooklyn, NY was sentenced to 36 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, a fine of $20,000, and the forfeiture of $4,698,828. The owner of the Center for Advanced Training and Studies in West Orange, NJ was sentenced to 33 months in prison, followed by three years supervised release, and the forfeiture of $1,381,913.

Each defendant was charged with either wire fraud or conspiracy to commit wire fraud. This crime is broadly applied to any defendant who uses electronic means to carry out fraud. The maximum sentence under federal law is 20 years in federal prison. The scope and complexity of the fraud along with the amount of money stolen are factors when determining the defendant’s sentence.

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The Matassini Law Firm represents the interests of those facing federal charges in Tampa, FL. Call our Tampa criminal lawyers today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin preparing your defense right away.



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