Twenty-three practising nurses in the United States have been charged for alleged possession of fake certificates by the Texas Board of Nursing.
The Board released a statement on its website that includes the names of the accused individuals. Of the 23 accused nurses, 18 are believed to be of Nigerian descent.
According to the Board, an ongoing investigation revealed that all the suspects were involved in a grand fraudulent scheme related to the procurement of false nursing degree diplomas and transcripts.
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This scheme, which was been named “Operation Nightingale,” involves a multi-state coordinated law enforcement action, with the participation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). The operation began on January 25, 2023, with the aim of arresting those engaged in the sale of fake and fraudulent nursing credentials.
The individuals from Nigeria who are implicated in the scheme are Abiodun, Yetunde Felicia; Adelakun, Abiodun Aveez; Adelekan, Joseph Adewale; Adeoye, Vivien Temitope; Adewale, Modinat Abidemi; Afolabi, Olufemi Toun; Afolabi, Omowunmi F; Agbo, Odumegwu Steve; and Ajibade, Charlot Omotayo.
Others include Akande, Olabisi Christiana; Akhigbe, Catherine; Akinrolabu, Folasade Margaret; Ako, Esiri Rachael; Akpan, Rosemary Moses; Alimi, Bukola A; Ani, Ndirika Justina; Aroh, Nchekwube C.; and Ayodeji, Sherifat Olubunmi.
The Texas Board of Nursing clarified that these individuals procured fake nursing credentials and used them to sit for the national nursing board exam.
The statement read: “The Board has filed Formal Charges against the following nurses for fraudulently obtaining educational credentials. The Board is authorized to file Formal Charges against a nurse if probable cause exists that the nurse has committed an act listed in Tex. Occ. Code §301.452(b) or that violates other law. See Tex. Occ. Code §301.458.
Further, Formal Charges are publicly available. See Tex. Occ. Code §301.466(b). Please note that Formal Charges are not a final disciplinary action, and a nurse is permitted to work, as a nurse, while Formal Charges are pending. This list will be updated continuously as the Board receives additional information about the fraudulent diploma/transcript scheme.”
Other nurses named in the scandal are Abanda, Jacob Atambili; Addai, Agnes Fosuah; Anaaba, Awingrug Musah; Anthony-Annor, and Spendilove; Asanga, Albert Nshanui.