ST. LOUIS - She was trusted with the lives of sick people for months at a St. Louis hospital.
But federal prosecutors now believe the Illinois woman was nothing more than just a fake nurse.
Samantha Rivera, 35, is facing multiple charges, including aggravated identity theft and health care fraud. She remains in police custody.
In court documents filed this week, prosecutors argued Rivera has never been a licensed nurse and never graduated from nursing school.
In 2015, they said she lied about her work history and education experience to land an $80,000 a year teaching job at Brown Mackie College in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
On her application, prosecutors said Rivera falsely claimed she had a master’s degree in nursing from Georgetown University and had previously taught a nursing course at the University of New Mexico.
Yet, she worked at the for-profit school until she left the position in December 2015.
In 2016, prosecutors said Rivera applied for a job with ATC Health Care Services, which provides health care professionals to hospitals and other medical facilities.
According to court documents, Rivera again lied about her nursing credentials and even used the license number of a real nurse from New Mexico on her application.
ATC placed Rivera as a registered nurse at St. Alexius Hospital on South Broadway Ave. in south city in November 2016.
She worked in the intensive care and geriatric psychiatric units.
According to prosecutors, Rivera was responsible for assessing patients, performing medical treatments and administering medications.
Rivera remained at the hospital until February 2017, when the hospital chose not to re-new her three month contract.
Court documents said Rivera was busted the next month when she applied for a job with another nursing staffing agency in Chicago. Again, according to court records, Rivera attempted to use information that belonged to a real nurse.
The company realized her experience was being falsified and did not offer her a position.
Prosecutors said there were also at least two other times in which Rivera applied for nursing jobs and falsely listed the University of New Mexico as her former employer.
Rivera once lived in New Mexico and St. Louis, but was most recently living in Illinois.
Five on Your Side has repeatedly reached out and left messages for officials with St. Alexius to get a comment for this story. We have not heard back.
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