Woman arrested for allegedly working as registered nurse without license, DHEC investigating
GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is investigating after South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that his office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (SCMFCU) arrested a woman for allegedly practicing medicine as a registered nurse without a license.
According to officials, 37-year-old Alyssa Beth Steele allegedly practiced medicine without a license at seven nursing and assisted living facilities.
She was served charges in the counties where she practiced medicine including:
- Anderson County on Monday, October 24
- Greenville County on Tuesday, October 25
- Pickens County Wednesday, October 26
Officials say charges against Steele include the following:
- Seven counts of neglect of a vulnerable adult
- Five counts of unlicensed practice as a registered nurse
- One count of financial identity fraud to obtain employment
- One count of obtaining signature or property under false pretenses, value $10,000 or more
An investigation revealed that Steele allegedly used a State of Georgia Board of Nursing license number belonging to someone else to gain employment as a registered nurse at the seven facilities listed below:
- Cascades Verdae Assisted Living Facility in Greenville
- Iva Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Iva
- Piedmont Post Acute in Piedmont
- Brookdale Assisted Living Facility in Anderson
- Condor Health in Anderson
- Easley Place Assisted Living Facility in Easley
- Fleetwood Rehabilitation and Healthcare Assisted Living in Easley.
They say at no time during her employment did she have any certifications, qualifications or training of a registered nurse and her actions could have caused physical or mental injuries to the residents under her care.
According to arrest warrants, Steele committed identity fraud in Anderson County between Jan. 15, 2020 and Dec. 8, 2021 after she willfully and knowingly used a State of Georgia Board of Nursing license number belonging to another person without permission for employment.
Arrest warrants also state that Steele received about $60,000 annually between Jan. 15, 2020 and Dec. 8, 2021 during her time of employment in Anderson County.
Arrest warrants also state Steele was employed in Greenville and Pickens Counties between about April 2021 and January 2022.
Officials say all the facilities mentioned cooperated fully with investigators.
One facility released a statement on Steele’s arrest:
“Fleetwood Post Acute is aware of the arrest of an individual who falsified nursing licensure, and who worked shifts at our facility. This person came to us through a local staffing agency who, by contract, was required to perform license and background checks before employing clinical staff and deploying them to our facility.
Fleetwood Post Acute does perform thorough license, certification, and qualification checks, as well as personal background checks, on all of our own employees and staff. Additionally, this unfortunate incident occurred prior to current operations and ownership were involved with Fleetwood.
The care and safety of our patients is our number one priority and we have a zero tolerance policy against any deception and ethical violations. Fleetwood is cooperating with law enforcement and local and state oversight agencies.”
Another facility located in Anderson County released a statement below:
“The individual in question was contracted through a third-party agency. The agency has hiring protocols in place that would have been conducted for this individual. Our company has strict standards in place for employees, including background checks, complying with state rules and regulations, and ongoing training. We will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities regarding this situation.”
DHEC released this statement below regarding the investigation:
“DHEC is investigating the allegations contained in the Attorney General’s Office October 27 press release as they may relate to DHEC’s role in regulating long-term care facilities, including staffing and other requirements. DHEC oversees nursing homes and community residential care facilities to help ensure the health and safety of the residents that call these facilities home. Questions about the individual arrested and/or the practice of nursing and nursing licensure should be directed to South Carolina’s Board of Nursing in the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.”
Additional assistance with this case was provided by the Iva Police Department, Easley Police Department, Anderson Police Department, and the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department.
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