Students eligible for refunds after receiving unaccredited medical degrees, certifications

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced students are eligible to receive up to $60,000 in refunds after Para Health Professionals, Inc. and Examination Preparation Institute, Inc. issued unaccredited degrees and medical certifications.

Students took seminars to become certified as phlebotomists, electrocardiogram technicians, medical technicians, behavioral health technicians, healthcare technicians or pharmacy technicians, according to a press release.

The restitution is part of a consent judgment obtained by the Attorney General’s Office against Para Health Professionals and Examination Preparation Institute for violations of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act, a release stated.

“These so-called schools scammed students who dreamed of becoming medical technicians in Arizona,” Mr. Brnovich said in a release. “Students paid thousands to become certified medical techs only to find out their certifications are effectively worthless. One victim found out her certification was invalid during a job interview at a local hospital.”

Pamela Rae Davis and Ernest C. Esteban, who own and operate both Para Health Professionals and Examination Preparation Institute, admitted they falsely told students they could provide valid medical certifications that were equivalent to state-licensed certifications, according to a release.

Students paid between $99 to $800 per seminar and from $100 dollars to several thousand dollars to obtain “valid educational credentials” such as a bachelor’s degree or Ph.D. Students later discovered the credentials came from an unaccredited establishment purporting to be in the British West Indies, a release states.

Seminars lasted various lengths of time and included lectures and take home work.

The judgment requires Ms. Davis and Mr. Esteban to pay $40,000 in consumer restitution and up to $20,000 in additional restitution to resolve consumer complaints. Students can still file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office and must include supporting documentation by April 17 to be eligible for restitution.

The judgment also permanently stops Ms. Davis and Mr. Esteban from operating any business that provides education credentials and from making representations that any certification they provide is the equivalent of a state-licensed certification.

Assistant Attorney General Evan Daniels handled this matter.

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