Three Charged With Healthcare Fraud Scheme To Sell Fraudulent Nursing Degrees

The United States Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Maryland announced on July 16, 2021 that a criminal complaint has been filed charging Patrick Nwaokwu, age 50, of Laurel, Maryland; Musa Bangura, age 62, of Manassas, Virginia; and Johanah Napoleon, age 45, of Wellington, Florida with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to commit false statements relating to health care matters, and false statements to health care matters, in connection with a scheme to produce and sell fraudulent nursing transcripts and diplomas.
According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Nwaokwu, Bangura, and Napoleon conspired with others to commit health care fraud by producing and selling fraudulent nursing transcripts and diplomas, which were used to indicate that various individuals completed necessary courses and clinical hours to obtain medical licenses and practice in the health care field. The federal government alleges that Nwaokwu and Bangura owned and operated a nursing school located in Virginia (Nursing School 1), which was forced to close in 2013 due to violations of Virginia board regulations. The criminal complaint alleges that after that time, Nwaokwu and Bangura operated the former nursing school as an entity where individuals could purchase backdated, illegitimate registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN) transcripts and certifications. Nwaokwu and his associates also allegedly coached otherwise unqualified individuals to pass nursing board exams. A number of these unqualified individuals allegedly obtained employment at various healthcare providers in Maryland. According to the criminal complaint, approximately 175 of Nwaokwu’s nursing graduates have applied to the Maryland Board of Nursing.

Additionally, according to the criminal complaint, Nwaokwu conspired with individuals in Florida to sell illegitimate nursing degrees from a second nursing school (Nursing School 2) established by Napoleon in July 2016. In 2017, the Florida Board of Nursing forced the school to cease operations due to a low National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) passing rate. The affidavit alleges that the cost of illegitimate degrees from Nursing School 2 included preparation classes solely designed to pass the NCLEX and not to provide a formal education.

The criminal complaint also states that investigators obtained a list of Nursing School 2 graduates who applied to take the New York State Board Examination. Some individuals whose transcripts were backdated are included in this list as having passed the New York State Board Examination.

In 2020, a confidential source allegedly obtained a fraudulent RN degree from Nwaokwu from Nursing School 2 and in March 2021, an FBI undercover agent purchased a diploma from Nursing School 2 for approximately $16,000. The diploma from Nursing School 2 appears to be signed by Napoleon with a graduation date of June 29, 2018. Nwaokwu, Bangura, Napoleon, and their coconspirators allegedly sold illegitimate transcripts and degrees for between $6,000 and $18,000.

Source

If you have information regarding false claims having been submitted to Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, other federal health care programs, or to other federal agencies/programs, and the information is not publically known and no actions have been taken by the government with regard to recovering the false claims, you should promptly consult with a False Claims Act attorney (also known as qui tam attorneys) in your U.S. state who may investigate the basis of your False Claims Act allegations and who may also assist you in bringing a qui tam lawsuit on behalf of the United States, if appropriate, for which you may be entitled to receive a portion of the recovery received by the U.S. government.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, August 29th, 2021 at 5:21 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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