Not less than 18 nurses from Nigeria residents in Texas, the United States have been charged to court for obtaining educational credentials through fraudulent means.
The Texas Board of Nursing has filed formal charges against 23 nurses practicing in the US over certificates forgery.
In a statement on its website, the Board published names of the accused nurses of which not less than 18 are suspected to be of Nigerian descent.
According to the Texas Board of Nurses, all the suspects were caught in a grand fraudulent diploma/transcript scheme as revealed by an ongoing investigations.
The multi-state coordinated law enforcement action code-named ‘Operation Nightingale,’ involving the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), was inaugurated on January 25, 2023, to arrest individuals involved in a scheme to sell false and fraudulent nursing degree diplomas and transcripts.
The Nigerians involved 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 are; 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 further explained that the suspects engaged in the scheme procured fraudulent nursing credentials which they used to sit for the national nursing board exam.
“Upon successful completion of the board exam, the nursing applicants became eligible to obtain licensure in various states to work as an RN or a LPN/VN,” the Board stated in a separate statement.
It also clarified that the formal charges filed against the offenders are not a final disciplinary action, therefore, they are permitted to work pending the outcome of the charges.
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 S301.466(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.”
Other non-Nigerian nurses named in the scandal are Abanda, Jacob Atambili; Addai, Agnes Fosuah; Anaaba, Awingrug Musah; Anthony-Annor, and Spendilove; Asanga, Albert Nshanui.
“This list will be updated continuously as the Board receives additional information about the fraudulent diploma/transcript scheme,” the statement added.