GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WLNS) — The U.S. Department of Justice has charged an Allegan County woman with identify theft for fraudulently posing as a licensed nurse, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten announced Wednesday.
The woman also was previously charged with posing as a nurse in Texas.
“The allegations in this case involving a woman faking as a professionally licensed nurse are dangerous and put unsuspecting patients in harm’s way,” said Totten. “My office takes these accusations very seriously.”
Leticia Gallarzo, 48, allegedly used another person’s nurse licensing number and name in order to get a job as a nurse at a hospice facility, according to the DOJ.
Gallarzo did not have a valid nursing license and claimed that she had a master’s degree in nursing from George Washington University, though she does not have any formal degree in nursing.
The hospice facility found out that Gallarzo was not really a nurse when her fingerprints matched those on record for her previous state and federal convictions for practicing nursing without a license in Texas in 2015 and 2016.
The DOJ charged Gallarzo with identity theft, related to the transfer of the means of identification of another person in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028(a)(7).
If she is convicted, Gallarzo will face a maximum of 15 years in person.
The FBI and the U.S. Health & Human Service Office of Inspector General are investigating the case.