MIAMI (CBS4) – Nearly three dozen people were taken into custody in a scam which reportedly involved medical certifications. The Miami-Dade State’s Attorney’s Office said of the 21 people charged, they believe three of them are the ringleaders of the operation which put residents of several assisted living facilities at risk.
Sources told CBS4’s Gary Nelson several individuals charged in this case were licensed to train assisted living facility workers in such areas as CPR, use of defibrillators, dispensing of medicine, medical equipment operation and other specialties. Once the training was complete, they would issue a certificate. According to the sources, the three ringleaders sold the certificates to the ALF operators and bus drivers without ever having them go through the training.
But that’s not all. The arrest affidavit for 56-year old Maria Del Consuelo Fernandez, the so called mastermind of the operation, states that the certificates were in reality very good fakes. The report adds that Fernandez, who listed herself as President/Director of A & E Health Review Training Inc., obtained her training license fraudulently by using someone else’s name and credentials.
They allegedly charged $50 to $250 per certificate depending on the skill being certified and the number of certificates being purchased. There was a discount for volume, according to the sources.
After undercover officers made several purchases of the certificates, police moved in to shut down the operation.
Wednesday morning police searched an apartment in Hialeah and removed boxes of documents, according to the sources. They also shut down an ALF near 145th Avenue and 173rd Street in south Miami-Dade.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and Miami-Dade police have a new conference scheduled for Wednesday afternoon when they are expected to go into more detail about the operation and those arrested.