Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Carmel on the Case: Degree of Deception
Imagine investing time and money to further your career only to learn you've wasted both. It happened to some South Florida nurses who blame a Broward school for getting them into trouble with the law. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero with this special assignment report Degree of Deception.
WSVN -- If you we're sick or incapacitated, nurses can be like angels, and it is a rewarding profession.
Jeff Kramer: "She was radiant."
Jeff Kramer met Beverly Robinson when she was his mother's nurse.
Jeff Kramer: "She really was concerned and very sincere."
He got a chance to repay the kindness when Beverly got in big trouble. Beverly went to an esteemed vocational training school, which operated out of this building in Hallandale. She signed up to upgrade her nursing license.
Carmel Cafiero: "How much total did you spend?"
Beverly Robinson: "About $12,000."
Beverly already was a licensed practical nurse. When she finished her classes, she believed she would be a registered nurse. But the Department of Health filed a complaint against her, charging that paperwork submitted falsely claimed Beverly had been a nurse in California and was transferring her license from one state to another.
Beverly Robinson: "I said, 'That's my address, yes, but it's not me. I've never been to California,' I said, 'not even on vacation.'"
Beverly says the school submitted that paperwork without her knowledge.
The state revoked her license, and she was fired.
Beverly Robinson: "I was like, 'Oh, my God! Oh, my God, what am I going to do.'"
Carmel Cafiero: It took some doing, but Jeff Kramer was able to convince the state that Beverly was a victim in all this, and she was allowed to keep her original license as a practical nurse. She also got her old job back."
Ivette Gonzalez represents another student from the same school. That student, who doesn't want to be identified, also took classes hoping to become a registered nurse.
Ivette Gonzalez: "She spent around $15,000, which is an awful lot of money."
That student was also accused by the state of falsely claiming she had been a registered nurse, this time trying to transfer her license from Guam to Florida.
Like Beverly, she claims the school filed false paperwork in her name.
So I went looking for Victoria Inwang, who called herself the school's director.
We couldn't find her, but we did find her estranged husband, Patrick Inwang.
He says he had nothing to do with the school.
He also claims his estranged wife uses the name Eno Patrick Inwang.
Under that name, she was convicted of fraud and grand theft.
The convictions cost her nurse's license in 2004 when it was permanently revoked by the state.
Patrick Inwang: "She's not here. Where is she? I tell you, she went back to Nigeria."
We're not the only ones with questions.
The State Department of Education, which ordered the school closed for failure to meet state standards, is now investigating how the school operated.
The nurses say their experience cost more than money.
Beverly Robinson: "I tell you, I mean my whole outlook on people has totally changed."And how do you put a price tag on a loss of faith in your fellow man?
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