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Fake nursing school operators sentenced in $1M larceny scheme

NEW YORK – Prison sentences were given to0 Salvatrice Gaston, Robinson Akenami and Joceyln “JoJo” Allrich for their role in a massive scheme to defraud prospective nursing students. The defendants were each sentenced to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Joel Goldberg today, after a jury found them guilty on all counts last month, including grand larceny charges.

The jury found that, over a period of about five years, the defendants and their co-conspirators operated a network of fake nursing schools in Kings and Nassau counties and engaged in an elaborate scheme to defraud their victims, including by advertising the fake programs in media outlets that cater to New York’s Caribbean communities.

More than 100 students collectively paid more than $1 million between April 2006 and February 2011 to enroll in the programs that the defendants claimed would qualify them for careers in nursing. However, the certifications and transcripts the schools provided were fraudulent.

“These defendants were convicted of orchestrating a fraudulent get-rich-quick scheme and targeting people who hoped to pursue a brighter future for themselves and their families. They lined their own pockets with their victims’ hard-earned money, and now they are going to prison,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. “Their convictions and sentences send a clear message to those looking to profit by conning New Yorkers: You will not get away with it.”

Gaston, 58, lives in Brooklyn. Akenami, 38, lives in Queens. Allrich, 54, lives in Elmont, NY.