A.G. Schneiderman Announces The Arrest Of Woman For Allegedly Impersonating A Licensed Practical Nurse At A Far Rockaways Nursing Home
Noucheline Jean Charged With Stealing Over $90,000 By Illegally Posing As A Licensed Nurse And Treating Residents For More Than A Year
Schneiderman: We Will Vigorously Prosecute Those Who Unlawfully Practice A Medical Profession Without A License
NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrest of Noucheline Jean, 42, of Brooklyn, for allegedly masquerading as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) at Park Nursing Home, located in Far Rockaway, Queens. From October 15, 2012, to April 29, 2014, the defendant was employed by Park Nursing Home as an LPN, having convinced her employers that she was properly licensed to do so. Because the defendant never obtained a license in New York State, she was unqualified to perform the duties of a nurse. She faces Grand Larceny charges -- and up to 15 years in prison -- for taking $90,000 in salary she was not qualified to earn.
“Families who place their loved ones in nursing facilities should not have to worry about whether their care is being provided by qualified professionals,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “My office will vigorously prosecute anyone who unlawfully practices a medical profession without a license. We will protect the public, and we will continue to enforce the law.”
As an LPN, the defendant treated patients at Park Nursing Home, physically administering to them, and making entries on their charts—all actions that only a licensed nurse or other medical professional can perform. The defendant’s actions placed the residents of Park Nursing Home in potential danger because they received nursing care from an unqualified person. Believing that the defendant was a licensed practical nurse, Park Nursing Home paid the defendant over $90,000 over 18 months — money she had no right to receive.
Practical nurses must be licensed by the New York State Education Department. In order to qualify for a license as a practical nurse, they must meet various educational criteria and professional standards and pass an exam. The licensing requirement exists to protect patients against receiving substandard, and potentially dangerous, care from unqualified persons. Residents in nursing homes, including those at Park Nursing Home, are often elderly, suffer from many health problems and are among New York State’s most vulnerable populations.
The defendant was arraigned in New York City Criminal Court, Queens County, before Judge Suzanne Melendez, where she was charged with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, Unauthorized Practice of a Profession, Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree, and Wilful Violation of Health Laws in a felony complaint. Grand Larceny in the Second Degree is a class C felony, with a maximum exposure of 15 years in State prison. Both Unauthorized Practice of a Profession and Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree are class E felonies, and Wilful Violation of Health Laws Prosecutors is an unclassified misdemeanor.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman thanks the New York State Department of Health for referring the matter to his office.
The investigation was conducted by Special Investigator Stephanie Buono and Supervising Special Investigator Mitchell Scher, with the assistance of Deputy Chief Investigator Kenneth Morgan.
The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Winkler of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) New York City Office with the assistance of Cassandra Bethel, Chief of the New York City Patient Abuse Protection Unit, and Regional Director Christopher M. Shaw. Thomas O’Hanlon is MFCU’s Chief of Criminal Investigations – Downstate. MFCU is led by Acting Special Deputy Attorney General Amy Held. The Criminal Division is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.
The charges are accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.