San Antonio/ Health & Lifestyle
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Published on May 19, 2024
Texas Woman Sentenced for Posing as Licensed Nurse in Laredo, Ordered to Pay Over $50KSource: Unsplash/ Pawel Czerwinski

A Texas woman's years-long charade as a licensed nurse came to an ignominious end this week, as she was sentenced to 18 months behind bars. Nora Nely Avila, 36, will also endure a three-year supervised release following her incarceration, a federal judge declared.

Avila, who managed to convincingly falsely pose as a nurse, had previously confessed to her deceit on Jan. 3, 2021. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, her medical masquerade caused direct harm; a patient she treated developed an infection after Avila incorrectly removed their stitches. To add to her woes, she's been ordered to cough up a hefty $52,241.66 in damages.

The impersonation stretched from January 2017 through December 2019. Stealthily stealing a real nurse's identity, Avila brazenly presented the genuine credentials across various Laredo health facilities, fooling Medicare and Medicaid providers. Her employment web spread wide, from hospitals to home health companies, even snagging a position training future nurses in the Job Corps program funded by the federal government.

But her imitation extended beyond just showing up in scrubs. On multiple occasions, she was accused to have grossly neglected her duties, which left a trail of patients without necessary medical assistance. These serious lapses were detailed during Avila's sentencing, held in the court of U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison.

Avila was temporarily allowed to taste freedom, with the judge's consent to remain on bond until her time to surrender arises. The elaborate investigation that pierced her façade involved an array of federal agencies, including the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations.