Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MAMDOUH ABDEL-SAYED, a former full-time lecturer at the City University of New York’s Medgar Evers College (“Medgar Evers College” or the “College”), was sentenced to six months in prison for selling sham Medgar Evers College certificates that purported to represent the completion of health care courses at the College. ABDEL-SAYED pled guilty on May 30, 2018, before U.S. District Judge Vernon S. Broderick, who imposed today’s sentence.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Mamdouh Abdel-Sayed put his greed before the public’s health when he provided fake healthcare program certificates to students – certificates that allowed people with little to no relevant education to work in the healthcare field. Thankfully Abdel-Sayed’s money-making scheme was discovered and he will serve time in federal prison for his misdeeds.”
According to the allegations contained in the Complaint, the Indictment, and statements made in court and publicly available documents:
MAMDOUH ABDEL-SAYED was a full-time lecturer in the Biology Department at Medgar Evers College. From at least 2013 through 2017, without authorization from Medgar Evers College, ABDEL-SAYED purported to teach health care courses at the College on topics such as Electrocardiograms, Phlebotomy, and Sonography, and provided students with sham certificates of completion for the courses, in exchange for which ABDEL-SAYED charged fees of up to $1,000 per certificate, which money he kept for himself. ABDEL-SAYED attempted to avoid scrutiny from the College’s security guards in conducting the unauthorized courses.
In addition to charging fees for the unauthorized courses and sham certificates, ABDEL-SAYED encouraged students to use the certificates in obtaining employment in the health care field, including at New York City-area hospitals. When asked by employment agencies to verify the authenticity of the certificates, ABDEL-SAYED falsely informed the agencies that the certificates were issued by Medgar Evers College. In fact, ABDEL-SAYED created the sham certificates himself, and provided them to students even if the students did not attend his unauthorized courses, so long as the students paid ABDEL-SAYED for the certificates. In addition, ABDEL-SAYED distributed copies of purported national certification examinations – which he informed students on a recorded conversation it was “illegal” for them to possess – in order to assist the students in passing licensing examinations supposedly administered by the State for certain medical techniques.
After ABDEL-SAYED became aware of the investigation, he instructed an undercover law enforcement investigator, who had posed as a student and purchased several unauthorized certificates from him, to provide false information to federal law enforcement agents and to conceal those certificates from the agents. ABDEL-SAYED has been on administrative leave from the College since his arrest.
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In addition to the prison term, ABDEL-SAYED, 69, of Kearny, New Jersey, was sentenced to six months of home confinement, two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution and $20,000 forfeiture.
Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the New York State Inspector General’s Office and the U.S. Department of Education – Office of Inspector General.
The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eli J. Mark is in charge of the prosecution.