One nurse is headed to federal jail and one other faces the same destiny for collaborating in a pair of jail contraband schemes.
Former contract nurse Joseph Nwancha, RN, 41, of Baltimore, Maryland, was sentenced to 30 months in federal jail adopted by 3 years of supervised launch for his position in a scheme to smuggle narcotics, tobacco, cell telephones, and different contraband right into a state jail.
In his plea deal, Nwancha mentioned that he was often the on-duty nurse throughout evenings and nights at Maryland Correctional Institute Jessup (MCIJ), which housed roughly 1100 male inmates. This made it attainable for him to have personal contact with inmates with out jail workers or different inmates observing the interactions.
In accordance with courtroom paperwork, starting in September 2017, Corey Alston, an inmate on the medium-security jail, started bribing Nwancha to deliver contraband into the jail. The inmate’s sister, Ashley Alston, mentioned the bribe funds with Nwancha by way of textual content messages and later met with Nwancha to offer him cash. In his plea deal, Nwancha additionally admitted to having related preparations with different inmates.
On November 28, 2017, Nwancha was stopped at MCIJ and was discovered to be in possession of roughly 230 g of K2, an artificial cannabinoid, meant for Alston and different inmates, in keeping with the courtroom paperwork. A mobile phone recovered from Nwancha contained text-message conversations discussing bribe funds and different particulars associated to the smuggling operation. The subsequent day, Nwancha fled to Dublin, Eire, the place he remained till his arrest and extradition, the doc says.
In accordance with the Maryland Board of Nursing, Nwancha earned his license to observe in 2013, and it expired in 2019.
The Washington Submit reported that Nwancha was a part of a smuggling ring involving no less than 25 folks, together with corrections officers, through which conspirators would obtain “bribes, kickbacks, and sexual favors” in change for smuggling contraband into the power.
Jeane Arnette, RN, of Leavenworth, Kansas, pleaded responsible to a scheme through which she used her position as a nurse to smuggle contraband, together with cell telephones, into the Leavenworth Detention Middle.
Arnette, 61, pleaded responsible on Mach 10 to conspiracy to offer contraband to federal jail inmates. The Kansas Metropolis Star says Arnette labored on the jail from August 2020 by means of September 2021 and allegedly tried to smuggle contraband on no less than 15 events to at least one inmate. Investigators alleged she was paid by means of Money App for the transactions.
She is scheduled to be sentenced June 9 and faces a most penalty of 5 years in jail.
New York Nurse Indicted in COVID-19 Vaccine Card Rip-off
A New York licensed sensible nurse faces costs of conspiring to defraud the US Division of Well being and Human Providers and conspiring to commit forgery in a scheme to distribute and promote false COVID-19 vaccination playing cards.
In accordance with the indictment, Steven Rodriguez, of Lengthy Seaside, New York, 27, a nurse at a Hempstead, New York–based mostly clinic, conspired with Jia Liu, 26, of Queens, New York Metropolis, who’s a member of the US Marine Corps Reserve, to offer the pretend vaccination playing cards. The playing cards have been offered to unvaccinated Marine Corps reservists who didn’t wish to adjust to US Division of Protection vaccination laws.
Within the scheme, Liu bought stolen, clean COVID-19 vaccination playing cards from Rodriguez, then solid and distributed them for revenue. Liu additionally directed patrons to fulfill Rodriguez in particular person on the healthcare clinic the place, fairly than administer the vaccination, Rodriguez would destroy the vial of vaccine meant for that affected person, then present a solid vaccination card. Rodriguez then made false entries in immunization databases indicating that the customer had been vaccinated. Liu was additionally charged with one rely of conspiring to defraud the Division of Protection, in keeping with prosecutors.
Utilizing code phrases corresponding to “reward playing cards,” “Pokemon playing cards,” and “Cardi Bs,” the boys despatched messages on encrypted messaging apps and on social media to tell potential patrons of the chance to purchase the pretend playing cards, prosecutors mentioned.
Total, in keeping with the indictment, Rodriguez and Liu distributed no less than 300 stolen or false COVID-19 vaccination playing cards, created greater than 70 false entries in immunization databases, and destroyed a number of doses of COVID-19 vaccine. “The defendants put navy and different communities susceptible to contracting a virus that has already claimed practically a million lives on this nation,” Breon Peace, US Legal professional for the Japanese District of New York, mentioned when asserting the costs.
Rodriguez’s lawyer mentioned in an electronic mail to The New York Occasions that the costs are “disturbing” however added, “This younger man has no prior report and has a great household, which is why he was launched on an unsecured signature bond with the consent of the federal government.”
Rodriguez acquired his LPN license in 2018, and it was legitimate as of press time, in keeping with the New York Workplace of the Professions database.
Liu, who additionally faces costs in reference to the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill, was launched on a $250,000 bond to house detention with GPS monitoring, in keeping with the identical report.
If convicted, the boys might every withstand 10 years in jail.
Pennsylvania Nurse Practitioner Faces 22 Felony Expenses
A Bradford County, Pennsylvania, nurse practitioner is going through practically two dozen felony violations of state legislation.
Stephanie King, CRNP, 45, of Ulster, Pennsylvania, is accused of prescribing medicines with no collaborating doctor, in addition to with a number of counts of false billing.
The felony costs embrace three violations of the state’s Managed Substance, Drug, System and Beauty Act; two counts of insurance coverage fraud; six counts of Medicaid fraud; six counts of forgery; two counts of tampering with public information; and three counts of theft by deception.
In accordance with native press studies, King was the proprietor and operator of the Middle for Holistic and Integrative Psychological Well being in Athens, Pennsylvania. The charging paperwork allege that starting in November 2016, King entered right into a sexual relationship with a affected person and billed a personal insurer for his or her trysts. King subsequently entered a relationship with one other affected person. Though she discontinued medical take care of this affected person after the affair started, she continued to prescribe managed substances for him, in keeping with the indictment.
As well as, prosecutors allege that King renewed earlier collaboration agreements with out the data of her doctor collaborators. Underneath Pennsylvania legislation, nurse practitioners are required to enter into collaborative agreements with Pennsylvania-licensed physicians with the intention to carry out medical diagnoses and prescribe managed substances.
The investigation discovered that King falsely billed greater than $300,000 to non-public insurers and $100,000 to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for companies that didn’t meet acceptable medical therapy requirements. As well as, she is alleged to have written greater than 3750 prescriptions to sufferers in the course of the time she didn’t meet the State of Pennsylvania’s necessities to prescribe.
Her license, initially obtained in 2011, was suspended on March 25, 2020.
Massachusetts Nurse Pleads Responsible of Tampering With Sufferers’ Fentanyl
A Massachusetts nurse was charged with and has agreed to plead responsible to at least one rely of tampering with a managed substance whereas working within the postsurgery restoration unit at a Massachusetts hospital in addition to at an outpatient vascular surgical procedure heart.
In accordance with the charging paperwork, Hugo Vieira, 41, of Berkley, Massachusetts, eliminated fentanyl from vials meant for sufferers present process or recovering from surgical procedure. He then changed the fentanyl with saline. Investigators recognized 60 tampered vials on the vascular surgical procedure heart and two on the hospital.
Viera faces as much as 10 years in jail adopted by 3 years of supervised launch and a tremendous of as much as $250,000 for the tampering cost.
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