After a five-week trial in Brooklyn Supreme Court, an Elmont woman was convicted on Feb. 7 of seven felony charges for operating a fake nursing school in Franklin Square. She is one of three people who helped defraud students of more than $1 million as part of the massive scheme, New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.
Jocelyn Allrich, 54, faces a potential sentence of seven years after being found guilty of operating Hope-VTEC — also known as J. Allrich Productions Inc. — a bogus school at 1057-59 Hempstead Turnpike. Also convicted were Salvatrice Gaston, 58, of Brooklyn, who operated Envision Review Center, in Brooklyn, and Robinson Akenami, 38, of Queens, who operated Helping Angels Foundation of America, in Brooklyn and Floral Park, Queens.
According to Schneiderman, the three operated the network of bogus schools over a period of five years — from April 2006 to February 2011 — and promised the students careers in nursing. More than 100 students, who paid tuition ranging from $7,000 to $20,000, spent between 10 months and two years completing the program, only to be issued fraudulent transcripts and certifications in the names of the schools. Students were made to believe that they would be eligible to take the State Nursing Board Exam and become licensed practical or registered nurses.
“These defendants set up a fraudulent get-rich-quick scheme by targeting people hoping to pursue new opportunities,” Schneiderman said. “They lined their own pockets with their victims’ hard-earned money, and are now facing significant jail time.”
Following a trial that included the testimony of more than 30 witnesses — 25 of whom were students — Allrich, who had no prior criminal record in Nassau County, was convicted of first-degree scheme to defraud and six counts of third-degree grand larceny. She, Gaston and Akenami — who were also convicted of every charge they faced — are scheduled to be sentenced on March 21.