CINCO RANCH, Texas — Trained nurse and legitimate CPR instructor Erica Washington is upset a man is accused of using her company's name in an alleged CPR certification scam.
She's even more disturbed knowing the certifications were likely received without proper training.
"It just breaks my heart,” said Washington during a news conference with the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office. “I’ve been in business since 2010 and I’ve worked very hard to build a reputable business that’s upstanding where I provide solid, good training to healthcare professionals.”
The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office charged Ubadire Sampson Anosike with fraudulent use or possession of identification information.
They said he spent seven years peddling bogus CPR certifications to hospitals, child care and other workers without a proper permit to do so, using multiple company names. People who bought the cards reportedly never received a minute of training.
An undercover sting led to Anosike’s arrest.
"The card was actually made and produced at the scene from, or in the presence of the undercover officer who paid $65 for the card,” said FBCSO Lt. Rodney Glendening.
According to the American Heart Association, legitimate CPR training courses can cost up to $175, depending on the certification level, and take several hours to complete.
The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who bought a card from Anosike to contact them. Those who reach out to them first will be connected to the county's District Attorney’s office and will likely not face charges. If police reach out to recipients first, those recipients will face consequences.
"This suspect kept detailed documentation, and we're going through it," says Fort Bend County Sheriff Fagan. "But we're asking you to come forward. But if we come to you, we're filing charges."
Washington and the Sheriff’s Office are also asking healthcare companies to look for these fake cards. Washington says medical trainers, like her, no longer issue paper certifications. Those cards are now sent electronically by the instructor.
The biggest sign of a fraudulent CPR card is if it has Nurse Washington’s name on the back of it along with the company named “Flex Medical Services." She says her company is not associated with them.
Washington said she prays Anosike’s alleged crime hasn't cost anyone their life.
“I’m angry, I’m hurt,” she said.
Anosike has since been released from jail on a $1,000 bond.