Woman charged with practicing medicine without license
Deputies say woman claiming to be nurse faked license; She tells different story
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A 48-year old Jacksonville woman was arrested Monday on two counts of practicing as a health care professional without an active, valid Florida license, St. Johns County deputies said.
Amy Suzanne Pohlman was released from the County Jail after posting $50,000 bond. News4Jax caught up with her at her home, where she said this is all a misunderstanding.
"The auspices under which I worked, as well as my agreement with my partners, was completely legal -- nothing hidden or not discussed from the beginning," Pohlman said.
Pohlman, who claimed to be a registered nurse, to have a PhD, and claimed she was an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP), was hired as Nurse Administrator for Ponte Vedra Home Care in October 2015, deputies said.
At the time she was hired, Pohlman had documents alleging she had a nursing license, deputies said. Her duties included writing up care plans, visiting clients and assisting with the company’s marketing.
As she became familiar with more clients, she offered nursing care independently as a care manager, deputies said.
But Pohlman said she never provided any type of medical care to patients.
"The inception of this entire disagreement is about the partnership, and it is over money," Pohlman said. "It was a 'come after the partner first.' So it's unfortunate that it was something that became personal. It shouldn't have."
Last June, company officials became suspicious after attempting to determine if Pohlman's nursing license was still valid, couldn’t find that she was licensed and notified the Department of Health. At that time, Pohlman resigned from her position with the company and an investigation began.
Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office Special Victims’ Unit (SVU), who were assisted by a medical investigator from the Jacksonville Office of the Florida Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, took over the investigation in September and discovered that Pohlman had signed a DNR order and created a fake ARNP license, deputies said.
She is also charged with performing a physical exam on an applicant of the home care company.
The investigation revealed that Pohlman did not have a Doctorate of Philosophy of Physiology degree, as she had claimed, nor did she have a Master’s or any other degree in nursing, deputies said. Detectives also found an award-type plaque from the trustees of the Mayo Clinic that was displayed in her office:
Alzheimer’s disease Research Center, issued on March 9, 2016 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
It was determined that there was no such award given by the Mayo Clinic, and investigators found that Pohlman had ordered and paid for the plaque, which was created at a local awards business in Jacksonville.
News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said the situation could come back to haunt the health care provider.
"They could be responsible if someone was harmed because of this person who doesn’t have a license because they actually hired that person to come in and provide services so if they provided the wrong medication or did something that could have harmed a patient then they would be held liable," Smith said.
Pohlman said she is cooperating fully with the investigation. News4Jax called Ponte Vedra Home Care twice Monday, but has not yet heard back.
Deputies said additional charges are pending further investigation. Anyone that may have come in contact with Pohlman on a professional basis is asked to contact SVU Detective David Rosado at the Sheriff’s Office at 904-209-2161.
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