Fla. AG sues JLF University

Bryan Cohen May 11, 2011, 2:19am


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced on Tuesday that her office has sued a Miramar, Fla.-based university for allegedly defrauding medical and nursing students.

JLF University Inc., affiliated entities and owner Joseph LaFortune allegedly promised students that they would be eligible for licensure upon graduation from the program. After completion, the students allegedly learned that because the nursing and medicine programs are not approved or accredited, they would not be eligible for licensure in Florida.

"Defrauding hardworking students who are aspiring to become nurses or doctors is appalling," Bondi said. "I am committed to holding schools accountable, and misrepresentation of credentials, which robs students of time and money, will not be tolerated."

Students who were enrolled in the program allegedly paid between $7,000 and $15,000 for a year long program taught in Miami with several weeks in Jamaica for clinical practice.

Students who demanded refunds were allegedly offered the option to "transfer" to Green Cross School of Nursing, which is owned by Joseph LaFortune's wife, Aline LaFortune, for an added payment of $7,000. Graduates from Green Cross are eligible for licensure by the Florida Board of Nursing.

The lawsuit, filed in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in the 17th Judicial Circuit Court for Broward County, seeks an order enjoining the school from misrepresenting its qualifications and programs. The suit also seeks to impose civil penalties for alleged violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and requires restitution for the students.

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