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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Cuny Medgar Evers College Lecturer Pled Guilty To Wire Fraud For Selling Fake College Certificates

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MAMDOUH ABDEL-SAYED, a tenured lecturer at the City University of New York’s Medgar Evers College (“Medgar Evers College”), pled guilty yesterday in Manhattan federal court to wire fraud related to his selling of sham Medgar Evers College certificates that purported to represent the completion of health care courses at the College.  ABDEL-SAYED pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Vernon S. Broderick.    

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As he admitted in court, Mamdouh Abdel-Sayed abused his position on the CUNY faculty to enrich himself by creating and selling fake health care program certificates.  In so doing, Abdel-Sayed put public health at risk.  I commend our partners at the New York State Inspector General and the Department of Education Office of Inspector General for their continued commitment to rooting out corruption at federally funded New York schools.”

According to the allegations contained in the Complaint, the Indictment, and statements made in court and publicly available documents:

MAMDOUH ABDEL-SAYED is a tenured lecturer in the Biology Department at Medgar Evers College.  From at least 2013 through 2017, without authorization from Medgar Evers College, ABDEL-SAYED purported to teach health care courses at the College on topics such as Electrocardiograms, Phlebotomy, and Sonography, and provided students with sham certificates of completion for the courses, in exchange for which ABDEL-SAYED charged fees of up to $1,000 per certificate, which money he kept for himself.  ABDEL-SAYED attempted to avoid scrutiny from the College’s security guards in conducting the unauthorized courses.    

In addition to charging fees for the unauthorized courses and sham certificates, ABDEL-SAYED encouraged students to use the certificates in obtaining employment in the health care field, including at New York City-area hospitals.  When asked by employment agencies to verify the authenticity of the certificates, ABDEL-SAYED falsely informed the agencies that the certificates were issued by Medgar Evers College.  In fact, ABDEL-SAYED created the sham certificates himself, and provided them to students even if the students did not attend his unauthorized courses, so long as the students paid ABDEL-SAYED for the certificates.  In addition, ABDEL-SAYED distributed copies of purported national certification examinations – which he informed students on a recorded conversation it was “illegal” for them to possess – in order to assist the students in passing licensing examinations supposedly administered by the State for certain medical techniques. 

After ABDEL-SAYED became aware of the investigation, he instructed an undercover law enforcement investigator, who had posed as a student and purchased several unauthorized certificates from him, to provide false information to federal law enforcement agents and to conceal those certificates from the agents.    

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ABDEL-SAYED, 68, of Kearny, New Jersey, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud,  which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.

ABDEL-SAYED is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Broderick on September 7, 2018.

Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the New York State Inspector General’s Office and ED-OIG. 

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Eli J. Mark is in charge of the prosecution.

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
Updated May 31, 2018