Imposter Nurse Sentenced For Wire Fraud, Health Care Fraud And Identity Theft
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – Misty Dawn Bacon, 44, of Morristown, was sentenced by the Honorable Clifton L. Corker in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville.
In December 2019, Bacon plead guilty to wire fraud, healthcare fraud, and using another person’s identity to commit federal and state offenses, including practicing a profession without a license. Bacon was sentenced to 51 months, followed by three years of supervised release.
Bacon, a convicted felon, began working in East Tennessee as a registered nurse sometime before September 2012, even though she had no nursing degree, held no nursing license from the Tennessee Department of Health, and had no legitimate nursing experience. To accomplish her fraud, Bacon obtained the license numbers of real nurses with similar first names. Bacon then created phony aliases and used the real nurses’ license numbers to pose as an actual nurse and apply for nursing employment. In the process of submitting applications, Bacon falsely claimed that she held nursing degrees from Walters State College and Carson Newman University. Through her scheme, Bacon obtained employment with at least eight (8) healthcare providers between September 2012 and November 2018. During the six-year period, she worked in a variety of nursing settings, to include nursing homes, rehabilitation and assisted living facilities, a doctor’s office, and home health agencies.
Her imposter status gave her access to real patients, and Bacon rendered actual medical care to numerous patients, including dispensing medications, obtaining invasive access to patient’s bodies, and becoming privy to patients’ sensitive, private medical information. Due to her lack of qualifications, Bacon created a serious risk of injury, and even death, to patients she was treating. The risk manifested itself by Bacon performing procedures she was unqualified to perform, not performing needed procedures she recognized she was not qualified to perform, and failing to chart and document patient care in an appropriate fashion. According to the written plea agreement, at least one patient required re-admittance and a three-day hospital stay due to Bacon’s inept care.
The criminal information resulted from an investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Tennessee Department of Health, and the Jefferson City Police Department.
Mac D. Heavener, III, Assistant United States Attorney, represented the United States.