FBI Cracks Down of Fake Diploma and Degrees Granting Schools
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) unraveled an unbelievable web between three men that began as early as 2008. What was the focus? A multimillion-dollar healthcare scheme between three men who sold fake nursing school transcripts and diplomas across the country. FBI agents were able to purchase fake nursing diplomas in New York, Maryland, Florida and Virginia during their investigation of former nursing school owners Patrick Nwaokwu, 50, of Laurel, Maryland, Musa Bangura, 62, of Manassas, Virginia, and Johanah Napoleon, age 45, of Wellington, Florida.
The affidavit states that, “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 healthcare field.”
Patrick Nwaokwu is an esteemed Nigerian medical doctor who is highly celebrated in his home country. Together with Bangura, who according to his LinkedIn profile is an RN, MSN with over 25 years of healthcare experience, the duo briefly owned a private nursing school National School of Nursing and Allied Health from 2008 to 2013, when it was closed due to violations of unnamed state regulations.
After closing, Both Nwaokwu and Bangura continued to “illegitimately operate their school as a place where people could go to simply purchase illegitimate Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) transcripts and certifications that are backdated to June 30, 2013” according to their federal criminal complaint. Receipts show students have paid anywhere from $6,000 to $18,000 for the transcripts and certificates.
In 2020, 175 graduates of National School of Nursing and Allied Health in Virginia had applied to the Maryland Board of Nursing to practice as LPN’s with approximately 62 of those graduates actively working as licensed practical nurses in the neighboring state of Maryland.
Meanwhile, In Florida one FBI agent was able to buy a diploma for $16,000 from a separate school owned by Napoleon, during his 2021 investigation of Napoleon’s school, Siena College of Health.
After buying the diploma, the FBI agent and other students who attended a day life preparation test on how to pass the state nursing exam were advised by Nwaokwu to apply for their nursing licenses in the State of New York. Although it is unknown why Nwaokwu chose New York, a New York State Office of Professions employee told the FBI agent that their process for nursing licensure was “fraught with disorganization”. It’s also noted in the affidavit that although the agent purchased his diploma in March 2021, his diploma indicated a graduation date of 29th June 2018 and appeared to be signed by Napoleon.
During the investigation into Siena College of Health, agents were able to verify that at least four graduates have worked for health care entities that bill Medicare and Medicaid and private insurance.
The three were charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to make false statements relating to health care matters and making false statements relating to health care matters.
Alleged graduates of the schools have been charged in relation to the scam as well. Enome Massango of West Des Moines, Iowa was charged with fraud after purchasing his LPN license from Bangura in 2017 for $11,000 and then his RN degree from Napoleon for $16,000 in 2020.
While licensed in Iowa, Massango worked at Valley View Village, an assisted living center and nursing home located in Des Moines. Tax records show he worked an average of 64 hours per week, making more than $114,000 per year while he was an LPN. As of 2022, Massango was working as a travel nurse and was also employed by the Colorado Mental Health Institute before becoming under investigation and having his license revoked.
Why should you care?:
Every state has a proprietary, post secondary education, or department of higher education division that is responsible for deciding if a school requires licensing or approval to operate. You can check HERE to see who oversees this process in your state.
In the state of Georgia, programs are regulated by the Georgia Nonpublic Secondary Education Commission. Search us here SEARCH US HERE
H.E.R.O Accreditation standards are important to us, check them out here CHECK THEM OUT HERE
Learn about H.E.R.O Institute’s accredited programs, including Phlebotomy Technician, Patient Care Technician, and Medical Assistant, CLICK HERE
This article was written by Leslie Lawrence LPN, an Instructor for the phlebotomy technician program at H.E.R.O Institute located in Marietta, GA.
This was beautifully done! Thank you for the excellent ending. I will have the IT team add it to our site!!