Baltimore Woman Pleads Guilty in Fraudulent Nursing Certifications Scheme
Nine individuals convicted in plot that issued 150 fake documents
Baltimore, MD ( July 31, 2013) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that Aisha Wendy Randolph, 35, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Commit Bribery for her role in a scheme to buy and sell fraudulent nursing assistant certifications issued by a former employee of the Maryland Board of Nursing. Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Alfred Nance sentenced Randolph to three years incarceration, all of which was suspended, and three years unsupervised probation. As a condition of probation, Randolph must pay a $500 fine and perform 100 hours of community service.
"Maryland has a rigid process for obtaining a nursing assistant certification and this scheme attempted to illegally short-circuit that process," said Attorney General Gansler. "Fortunately, the plot was uncovered and the individuals who attempted to defraud the system are now being held accountable for their actions."
An investigation revealed that co-conspirator Natiakia Monique Sanders, 38, would solicit individuals from Baltimore to purchase fraudulent nursing assistant certifications. She would then provide the purchaser's identifying information and half of the money to Malika Yakini James, 38, a then-employee at the Maryland Board of Nursing. Sanders pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Bribery for her role in arranging for the purchase of the fraudulent certifications. Her sentencing is scheduled for August 29.
James would enter the information into the Maryland Board of Nursing database and issue fraudulent certifications to individuals who did not meet the qualifications to be certified or geriatric nursing assistants. Over a three-year period, James issued more than 150 fraudulent certifications.
In May of this year, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Michael W. Reed sentenced James and co-conspirators Vickeara Lashawn Green, 33, and Raymonia Yvonne Foreman, 32, both of Baltimore, for their respective roles in the conspiracy. Judge Reed sentenced James to five years incarceration, suspending all but 12 months, to be served on home detention. Judge Reed imposed five years supervised probation and ordered as a condition of probation that James pay a $100 fine and perform 200 hours of community service.
Judge Reed sentenced both Green and Foreman to three years unsupervised probation, and ordered them to pay a $500 fine and perform 100 hours of community service for their roles in purchasing the fraudulent certifications.
Five other defendants who were charged in the same scheme had previously pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Bribery and were sentenced earlier.
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 was prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Attorney General's Office with assistance from the Maryland Board of Nursing and the Maryland State Police. In announcing the guilty plea, Attorney General Gansler thanked Assistant Attorney General Catherine Schuster Pascale and Senior Fraud Analyst John Bettinger for their work on this case.