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For Immediate Release
May 1, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
scaine@oag.state.md.us

IMPOSTER CONVICTED OF PRACTICING NURSING
WITHOUT A LICENSE AT TWO BALTIMORE HOSPITALS

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Florence Ngwe Igwacho, 40, a resident of Bowie, Maryland, plead guilty in Baltimore City Circuit Court before the Honorable Lynn K. Stewart to two charges of Practicing Registered Nursing without a License, arising from her work at the VA Maryland Health Care System and Mercy Medical Center. Igwacho also plead guilty to Identity Fraud. Judge Stewart scheduled sentencing in the case for June 27, 2003.

The charges and convictions follow an investigation by the Maryland Board of Nursing, conducted with the assistance of the two city hospitals. The investigation revealed that Ms. Igwacho received registered nursing assignments in Baltimore through nursing staff agencies by assuming the identity of an actual registered nurse practicing in Washington, D.C. and licensed in Maryland. She assumed the name and birth date of registered nurse Karen Awah and presented the agencies with Ms. Awah’s Social Security Number, resident alien card, and a copy of her Maryland RN nursing license. The imposter also lied about having an RN degree from George Mason University. Igwacho has a LPN license only, issued in the District of Columbia.

Relying on the credential’s presented, the staffing agencies obtained nursing positions for the imposter at the city hospitals. Igwacho worked a number of night shifts at the VA Hospital and at Mercy before she was discovered. On August 1, 2002, an RN from Mercy was doing drill duty at Walter Reed Army Hospital as an Army Reserve Lieutenant. There she met the actual Karen Awah and both realized the nurse at Mercy was an imposter. Very soon after, Igwacho was expelled from the hospitals and terminated by the staffing agencies.

This case was prosecuted by the Criminal Investigations Division of the Attorney General’s Office.

 

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