May 27, 2013
Russ Heimerich (916) 574-8171
State and Federal Investigators Crack Nursing Transcript Forgery Ring
Individuals became licensed using fake transcripts from school in the Philippines
SACRAMENTO – Five Registered Nurses have been arrested for using fake transcripts to become licensed as a result of a multi-agency probe involving the California Department of Consumer Affairs' Division of Investigation (DOI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Juan Malaluan Tenorio, Jr. and Glyn Cordova Villegas of Kern County, Philip Tolentino Sarmiento and Jude Dagza Leoncio of Los Angeles County and James Quijano Lenocio of Orange county face criminal charges of applying for licenses to practice as Registered Nurses in California using false and forged nursing school transcripts.
"It is impossible to overstate the danger of someone who works as a nurse without having the proper education," said Louise Bailey, Executive Officer of the Board of Registered Nursing. "We're grateful to the Division of Investigation and the other law enforcement agencies involved for shutting down this ring."
The Division of Investigation worked with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Internal Revenue Services' Criminal Investigation Division and the California Board of Registered Nursing to investigate and arrest the five. A sixth individual, the suspected ringleader, currently resides in the Philippines. There is an active warrant for her arrest.
"We are happy we were able to crack this ring of forgers and keep them from possibly harming patients," said Division of Investigation Chief Michael Gomez. "And what enabled us to do it was the cooperative spirit of the people working the case from ICE Homeland Security Investigations and the IRS.
"IRS-Criminal Investigation (CI) is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to protect the American public both domestically and internationally," said José M. Martínez, Special Agent in Charge, Oakland Field Office. "These crimes touched the lives of many unsuspecting citizens and the public should know that we will hold accountable those individuals who put personal financial gain through deceit above the safety and well-being of the public that we serve."
"When people seek medical attention, they put their trust in those who provide them care," said Clark Settles, special agent in charge for HSI San Francisco. "Thanks to the diligent efforts of HSI special agents here in the Bay Area and in the Philippines, and seamless coordination with our state, federal, and foreign law enforcement partners, we were able to expose this scheme and eliminate a significant threat to public safety. Without HSI's global reach, it would have been difficult to develop the evidence overseas needed to bring the charges in this case."
At the request of the Board of Registered Nursing, a Sacramento County Superior Court Judge has ordered the five individuals facing charges in Sacramento County not to practice as registered nurses.
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The Department of Consumer Affairs promotes and protects the interests of California Consumers. Consumers can file complaints against licensees by contacting the Department of Consumer Affairs at (800) 952-5210. Consumers can also file a complaint online at www.dca.ca.gov.
The Board of Registered Nursing regulates the practice of registered nursing and certified advanced practice nurses in order to protect the public. The Board exists to protect the health and safety of consumers and promote quality registered nursing care in California.