AG Gansler Secures Another Guilty Plea in Nursing Certifications Scheme
Trial for remaining bribery defendants set for June 19
Baltimore, MD (June 1, 2012) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that Natiakia Monique Sanders, 37, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Bribery for her role in a scheme to buy and sell fraudulent nursing assistant certifications issued by the Maryland Board of Nursing. Conspiracy to Commit Bribery carries a term of imprisonment between two and twelve years and a fine of between $100 and $5,000. Sentencing for Sanders, and two co-defendants who previously pleaded guilty, is scheduled for September 17 in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.
An investigation revealed that Sanders would solicit individuals from Baltimore to purchase fraudulent nursing assistant certifications. Then, she provided identifying information and half of the money to Malika Yakini James, a former Administration Specialist for the Maryland Board of Nursing. James previously pleaded guilty to accepting the money in exchange for accessing the Board of Nursing databases and illegally issuing over 150 fraudulent nursing assistant and geriatric nursing assistant certifications to individuals who were not qualified to receive them.
Sentencing for James and a third co-defendant, Yolanda Terrelle Dunham, 31, has also been set for September 17. Dunham had pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Bribery for purchasing a fraudulent nursing assistant certification.
Trials for seven of the remaining defendants, Vickeara Lashawn Green, 32; Tyesha Renee Jones, 32; Raymonia Yvonne Foreman, 31; Aisha Wendy Randolph, 33; Vernetta Shaquanda Hamilton, 26; India Lania Beauford, 24, and Joyce Annette Johnson, 37, all of Baltimore, are scheduled for June 19. A motion to join the trials into one proceeding is pending. All are charged with Conspiracy to Commit Bribery with Sanders and James.
In order to receive a nursing assistant certification, an individual must take a Board-approved course, pass a practical and written exam, and be subject to a criminal background check.
The case is being prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Maryland Attorney General's Office with assistance from the Maryland Board of Nursing and the Maryland State Police. Attorney General Gansler would like to thank Assistant Attorney General Catherine Schuster Pascale and Senior Fraud Analyst John Bettinger for their work on this case.