Kearny professor pleads guilty to fraud

NEW YORK CITY — Mamdouh Abdel-Sayed, a tenured lecturer at the City University of New York’s Medgar Evers College and a resident of Kearny, has pled guilty in Manhattan federal court to wire fraud related to his selling sham Medgar Evers College certificates that purported to represent the completion of health care courses at the college, Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced Thursday, May 31.

Abdel-Sayed made his plea last week before U.S. District Judge Vernon S. Broderick.    

ìAs 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,î Berman said. ìI 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.î

According to the allegations contained in the complaint, the indictment and statements made in court and publicly available documents, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says:

ï Abdel-Sayed is a tenured lecturer in the Biology Department at Medgar Evers College. From at least 2013 through 2017, without authorization from the college, Abdel-Sayed purported to ìteach health care coursesî 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 up to $1,000 per certificate, all of which he kept for himself.  Abdel-Sayed attempted to avoid scrutiny from the collegeís security guards in conducting the unauthorized courses.    

ï In addition to charging fees for the unauthorized courses and sham certificates, Abdel-Sayed encouraged students to use the certificates to gain 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 agencies the certificates were issued by Medgar Evers College. 

In reality, Abdel-Sayed created the sham certificates himself, and provided them to students even if they didnít attend his unauthorized courses, so long as the students paid him.  

In addition, Abdel-Sayed distributed copies of purported national certification examinations ó which he informed students on a recorded conversation it was ìillegalî for them to possess ó in order to assist the students in passing licensing examinations supposedly administered by the State of New York for certain medical techniques. 

ï 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.    

Abdel-Sayed, 68, 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 later this year, on Sept. 7.

Berman praised the investigative work of the New York State Inspector Generalís Office and ED-OIG. The case is being prosecuted by the Officeís

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.