A Medgar Evers College professor has been accused by the feds of running his own fake school in his real employer's name.
Mamdouh Abdel-Sayed was charged on Friday with soliciting bribes, wire fraud, mail fraud and obstruction of justice, among other crimes, after a four-year scheme in which he essentially ran "his own fraudulent trade school," according to New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott.
According to prosecutors, while Abdel-Sayed was an employed lecturer at Medgar Evers in the Biology department, he freelanced between 2013 and 2017 by teaching unauthorized courses on topics like electrocardiograms, phlebotomy and sonography, and gave students fake certificates of completion that he told employment agencies were issued by Medgar Evers College.
Abdel-Sayed allegedly charged up to $1,000 per false certification for his students, and while he would give the certificates to any student who paid him, he also actually did teach the classes "in direct competition with authorized classes offered by the College" for less money than the authorized classes cost, according to the federal government's indictment. Abdel-Syed allegedly advertised the classes on his office door, and would teach the courses, which would draw up to 30 students at a time, at times when the college campus was less crowded.
Prosecutors allege that Abdel-Sayed encouraged his students to undergo risky procedures in his classes, such as drawing each other's blood in his phlebotomy classes after he handed out needles. They also claim he told his students to use the false certificates he issued to them to get jobs in the health care field around the city, including at New York City-area hospitals.
When he found out he was under investigation, Abdel-Sayed also allegedly encouraged an undercover investigator posing as a student to lie to federal investigators and not tell them about the false certificates he'd purchased from the professor.
"Abedel-Sayed out of greed put public health at risk," acting US Attorney for the Southern District Joon H. Kim said in a statement announcing the indictment. "I want to thank our partners at the New York State Inspector General and Department of Education Office of Inspector General for their continued efforts to root out corruption at federally funded New York schools."
Abdel-Sayed faces up to 10 years in prison on the bribery charge, and up to 20 years in prison for the fraud and obstruction of justice charges.