Fake Utah nurse faces felony charges
A Utah woman is facing felony charges in two counties for allegedly stealing another woman's nursing license number and using it to get hired as a nurse at medical facilities in South Ogden and West Valley City.
Kristina Marie Owen, 33, of West Jordan has been charged in both Salt Lake and Weber Counties with third-degree felony counts of identity fraud, forgery and unlawful and unprofessional conduct, court documents show. The charges follow an investigation by Utah's Division of Occupational Licensing (DOPL).
A woman answering the telephone at a West Jordan listing for Owen said she was not living at the residence, but declined to provide The Salt Lake Tribune with contact information for Owen.
Third District Court papers say Owen first landed a job with Abundant Life Home Health and Hospice in South Ogden in January 2012 after claiming on her application that she had earned a degree as a licensed professional nurse (LPN) from Salt Lake Tooele Applied Technology College and had been licensed by the state in 2009. Owen also claimed to be employed as an LPN by Rocky Mountain Neurological in Salt Lake City at the time she applied for the job, the court documents say.
In April 2013, Owen allegedly used the same documentation to secure a position with Granger Medical Clinic, Pain and Spine Division in West Valley City, where she worked for less than a month and earned just over $1,100, according to the documents.
DOPL records show the license number allegedly used by Owen was issued to another woman in January 2011, the court papers say. That woman shares the same first name and the same middle initial with Owen, but has a different last name. DOPL investigators suspect Owen may have combed the state's public database to get the other woman's information, but Owen denied the allegation during questioning.
The agency is continuing to review other aspects of the case to determine whether any other violations may have occurred, said Jennifer Bolton, a spokeswoman for the division.
Salt Lake County prosecutors charged Owen with one count each of third-degree felony identity theft and unlawful or unprofessional conduct on July 3. An initial appearance is set for July 29 before Judge James Blanch in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City.
Weber County prosecutors charged Owen with one count each of third-degree felony forgery and identity fraud charges and two class A misdemeanor counts of unlawful or unprofessional conduct on July 15. An initial appearance is scheduled for Aug. 20 before Judge Scott Hadley in Ogden's 2nd District Court.
Court records do not indicate whether Owen is represented by an attorney.