Head Of Nursing Agency Indicted For Illegally Employing Unlicensed Nurses To Work At State And City Facilities

Attorney General Spitzer and New York State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi today announced the indictment of Hermine McFadden for running an agency that placed unlicensed and unregistered nurses at State and City facilities. New York law requires that anyone engaged in the practice of nursing be licensed and registered.

McFadden was arraigned today before the Hon. James Yates in New York County Supreme Court and charged with Scheme to Defraud, a Class E Felony, Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree, a Class C Felony, and various counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree and Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, both Class E Felonies.

From January 1994 to present, McFadden was the owner and president of Home Helper Home Care Services, Inc., a/k/a Home Health Care ("Home Helper"), an agency that places temporary nurses. In February of 2002, the State Office of General Services ("OGS") awarded the defendant a service contract to provide Registered Nurses (RNs) to facilities in New York State and New York City.

The indictment alleges that Bayview Correctional Facility, Edgecombe Correctional Facility and Fulton Correctional Facility routinely obtained nursing services from Home Helper pursuant to the state contract with Home Helper. The defendant routinely sent individuals who were not licensed or registered in New York State to work at the State facilities and then submitted time sheets and invoices falsely identifying these individuals as RNs. The defendant was paid approximately $261,000 by the State for the services provided by these individuals.

The indictment further alleges that the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) also obtained nursing services from Home Helper, which billed BMCC for RNs. The City of New York paid the defendant approximately $61,000 for the unlicensed nurses McFadden provided.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case was referred to the Attorney General’s Office by New York State Commissioner of Education Richard P. Mills. The Attorney General thanked Commissioner Mills and the New York State Education Department for their cooperation and assistance in the investigation.

The Attorney General also thanked the Comptroller’s Office for its assistance with the case.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Lesley Brovner under the supervision of Acting Deputy Bureau Chief Felice Sontupe. The Investigation is being conducted by investigators from the New York State Education Department, Office of Professional Discipline, under the supervision of Daniel Kelleher; investigators from the New York State Comptroller’s Office, under the supervision of Robert Brackman; and Investigators Edward Ortiz and Lester Dier from the New York State Attorney General’s Office under the supervision of Deputy Chief Henry Lemons.

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