Bondi settles with South Florida nursing schools

Bryan Cohen Jul. 31, 2012, 1:00pm


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced a final judgment on Monday against multiple South Florida nursing schools requiring $469,000 in restitution for students who were deceived into enrolling at the schools.

The final judgment against JLF University Inc., Aline LaFortune, Joseph LaFortune, Green Cross School of Nursing, Advance Training Academy Inc. and Allied Health College at JLF University Inc. also requires that the defendants pay $67,000 in civil penalties. Additionally, the defendants are prohibited from misrepresenting programs and qualifications.

Bondi filed a lawsuit against JLF University and its affiliates on May 10, 2011, for allegedly violating the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

"Prospective students can only make informed choices when schools fairly disclose critical information, such as costs and the opportunities available following graduation," Bondi said.

Students enrolling at JLF University were charged between $7,000 and $15,000 for a one year program taught in Jamaica and Miami, Bondi said.

Students learned after enrollment that they would not be eligible for Florida licensure because JLF is not approved as a nursing education program, Bondi says. Upon demanding refunds, students were allegedly allowed by Joseph LaFortune to transfer to Green Cross School of Nursing for a $7,000 fee. Green Cross School of Nursing is owned by Joseph LaFortune's wife Aline LaFortune.

"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."

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