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Case Number: 23-cr-60007.
Judge: Raag Singhal
Court: United States District Court for the District of Maryland (Batlimore County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Baltimore
Description: Baltimore, Maryland criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with participation in a scheme that created an illegal licensing and employment shortcut for aspiring nurses have pled guilty to wire fraud conspiracy.
Krystal Lopez and Damian Lopez (both of Palm Beach County, Fla.); Francois Legagneur (of Nassau County, N.Y.), Reynoso Seide (of Union County, N.J.); and Yelva Saint Preux (of Suffolk County, N.Y.) 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.
Damain Lopez, Franciois Legagneur, Reynoso Seide, and Yelva Saint Preux 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 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. K. 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.
U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri of the FBI, Miami Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge Omar Pérez Aybar of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Miami Region, made the announcement.
FBI Miami and HHS-OIG Miami investigated, with valuable assistance from Homeland Security Investigations, Miami Field Office; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs-Office of Inspector General; United States Postal Inspection Service, Miami; and Florida Attorney General-Florida Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Mid-Atlantic Field Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Clark is prosecuting this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Grosnoff is handling asset forfeiture.
This case is being prosecuted in conjunction with a related criminal matter in the District of Maryland.
Outcome: All pleaded guilty.