Three people were convicted in a fake nursing school scam that took over $1 million from over 100 students. According to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Salvatrice Gaston, Robinson Akenami and Joceyln "JoJo" Allrich were found guilty on all counts by a jury.
Evidence found that the three defendants took money from students to enroll them in classes to prepare them for a career in nursing. However, the certifications given by the school were fraudulent.
Gaston, 58 of Brooklyn, was conviceted of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree and six counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree. Akenami, 38 of Queens, was convicted of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, six counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, and two counts of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree. Allrich, 54 of Elmont, was convicted of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree and six counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree.
“These defendants set up a fraudulent get-rich-quick scheme by targeting people hoping to pursue new opportunities. They lined their own pockets with their victims’ hard earned money, and are now facing significant jail time,” Schneiderman said.
All three defendants face a maximum prison sentence of 2 1/3 to 7 years. They are scheduled for sentencing on March 21st.
Gaston, Akenami and Allrich ran the network of fake nursing schools in Brooklyn and Nassau County. They recruited students, telling them that classes would qualify them for the New York State Nursing Board Exam (NCLEX) to become Licensed Practical Nurses or Registered Nurses in New York.
Many of the students who enrolled in the class had a low income, and paid between $7,000 and $20,000 in tuition costs for the fake schools. They spent as long as two years taking classes, only to find out that the schools were not recognized by the New York State Education Department, and that they were not eligible to take the NCLEX.
The names of the three schools were Envision Review Center, located in Brooklyn, Helping Angels Foundation of America, located in Brooklyn and Floral Park, and Hope-VTEC, located in Franklin Square.
Four other defendants have also been charged in this case. Carl Lee Sellers and Frantz Simeon pleaded guilty to Scheme to Defraud in 2012 and were each sentenced to one to three years in prison. Carlene D'Haiti pleaded guilty in 2013 and was sentenced to one year in prison. Anthony Meyers also pleaded guilty in 2013, and was sentenced to a conditional discharge after serving over a year in prison.
[Source: Attorney General Eric Schneiderman]