Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a New Hyde Park woman has been arrested for allegedly teaching without a nursing license at Adelphi University and the Borough of Manhattan Community College.
Sophia Clarke, 48, of New Hyde Park, was arraigned yesterday before District Court Judge David Goodsell on charges of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (a C felony), Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree (a D felony) and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (an E felony). The defendant was released on her own recognizance and is due back in court Sept. 14. If convicted of the top count she faces up to 2-1/3 years to 7 years in prison.
“Because of their lifesaving role in our healthcare system, it’s essential that only licensed professionals be allowed teach nursing to students,” DA Singas said. “This defendant allegedly presented forged credentials to the colleges where she taught after her nursing license was revoked by state authorities. I’m grateful to the New York State Board of Education, BMCC and Adelphi University for their assistance with this investigation.”
“The State Education Department’s Office of the Professions investigates and prosecutes professional misconduct in more than 50 licensed professions to help protect New Yorkers,” said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “We are grateful for our continuing partnership with the Nassau County District Attorney and her team of professionals as we work together to ensure the public is protected against the dangers of unlicensed practice.”
DA Singas said that in August 2011 the defendant began teaching nursing at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. In February 2012, Clarke’s registered professional nurse and nurse practitioner licenses were revoked. Despite the revocations, the defendant continued teaching and is accused of never telling BMCC that her licenses were revoked.
In August of 2012, the defendant was hired to teach in the nursing program at Adelphi University and allegedly provided the school with copies of licenses that had April 2014 expiration dates. Additionally, between April and May of 2014, the defendant allegedly resubmitted forged licenses with 2017 expiration dates to the school.
Earlier this year, Clarke was scheduled to teach three classes at BMCC for the Fall 2018 semester, including a hospital clinic that would have involved practicing on actual patients.
Based on her license revocation, the defendant has now been placed on leave from BMCC and is no longer scheduled to teach in the Fall 2018 semester, which begins on August 27. She has been terminated from Adelphi University.
Valid nursing licenses are requirements to teach at both schools, which are accredited institutions. To check the status of a New York State Nursing professional, go to www.op.nysed.gov.
Senior Assistant District Attorney April Montgomery of the Financial Crimes Bureau, is prosecuting this case. The defendant is represented by Oscar Holt III, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.