NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A network of fake nursing schools defrauded students out of thousands of dollars and rewarded them with bogus certifications, New York’s attorney general said Thursday.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the five schools in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island ripped off students to the tune of $6 million. Prosecutors said some of the schools even coordinated with a nursing program in Jamaica to provide fraudulent documents.

For A Full List Of Schools Involved, Click Here To Read The Attorney General’s Release

“These conspirators intentionally targeted people in pursuit of new opportunities, lining their pockets with others’ hard-earned money,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

Eleven people who owned or operated the schools were indicted on charges including grand larceny and scheming to defraud. Eight people linked to the schools were arrested in early-morning raids Thursday. Three others were still being sought.

According to an indictment unsealed in Brooklyn state Supreme Court, the defendants falsely claimed that students who completed the programs would be eligible to take the New York State Nursing Board Exam to become registered or licensed practical nurses.

The schools were not authorized to operate in New York by the state Department of Education. Prosecutors say students paid $7,000 to $20,000 to attend programs at the fake nursing schools, spending up to two years to obtain fraudulent documents.

The attorney general’s office conducted an undercover operation with the state Department of Education to investigate the schools, which were located in Brooklyn, Queens, Floral Park and Franklin Square.

The attorney general’s office says four of the schools have been shut down and that they are seeking to close the fifth.

Sound Off On This Story In The Comments Section…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More From CBS New York

Download Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE