Guilty Pleas in Fraudulent Nursing Diploma Scheme
South Florida - Monday May 15, 2023: Five of dozens of defendants charged in the Southern District of Florida for their alleged participation in a scheme that created an illegal licensing and employment shortcut for aspiring nurses have pled guilty to wire fraud conspiracy.
The five admitted to soliciting and recruiting people who sought nursing credentials that would allow them to work as registered, licensed practical, or vocational nurses.
They also admitted to working with the Palm Beach School of Nursing to create and distribute fraudulent diplomas and transcripts representing that the aspiring nursing candidates had attended the school and completed the necessary courses and clinicals to obtain their nursing diplomas. In fact, the aspiring nurses had not completed the courses and clinicals. Krystal Lopez admitted that, in her role as Palm Beach School of Nursing’s Finance Director, she processed applications for individuals who were issued fraudulent nursing school diplomas and transcripts and that each student paid the school $15,000 for the documents. The defendants all admitted to profiting from the scam.
The five guilty please were entered by Krystal Lopez and Damian Lopez, both of Palm Beach County, Francois Legagneur, of Nassau County, New York, Reynoso Seide of Union County, New Jersey, and Yelva Saint Preux of Suffolk County, New York. They will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Raag Singhal in federal district court in Fort Lauderdale on July 27. They each face up to 20 years in federal prison.