Nassau DA: Adelphi nursing professor taught with forged license

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NEW HYDE PARK -

The Nassau district attorney says a New Hyde Park woman was teaching at Adelphi University and the Borough of Manhattan Community College using a forged license.

District Attorney Madeline Singas says Sophia Clarke, 48, faces charges of grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument and scheme to defraud. She was arraigned Wednesday.

Officials say Clarke began teaching at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in August 2011. In February 2012, the state revoked all three of her nursing licenses in the wake of a 2009 conviction of Medicaid fraud.

Clarke was indicted and arrested in October 2008 on allegations that she conspired to falsify documents in order to obtain Medicaid services that a recipient in her house was not entitled to. In 2009, she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in connection with the case and was sentenced to three years of probation.

Despite the revocations, Clarke continued teaching. Prosecutors say she never told the school that she'd lost her licenses.

In August 2012, Clarke joined the nursing program at Adelphi University and allegedly provided the school with copies of her revoked licenses, which had April 2014 expiration dates, according to Assistant District Attorney Diane Peress.

Officials say between April and May of 2014, Clarke allegedly resubmitted forged licenses with 2017 expiration dates to the school.

Earlier this year, she 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.

After learning of the charges, BMCC changed course.

"Ms. Clarke has been placed on administrative assignment and will not be assigned to teaching duties as the matter is pursued internally," said Manny Romero, a college spokesman.

And she was terminated from Adelphi University in March after the school says it became aware of a problem with her credentials.

Clarke 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 to 7 years in prison.

The statuses of state-licensed professionals in any of about two dozen professions are available on the state Department of Education's website.

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