Michigan woman with no real medical training caught actively working as nurse once again, feds say

48-year-old Allegan County woman facing charges

Leticia Gallarzo (Goliad County Sheriff’s Office) (Goliad County Sheriff’s Office)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A Michigan woman who has no real medical training was caught actively treating patients as a nurse -- and this wasn’t the first time, according to authorities.

Leticia Gallarzo, 48, of Allegan County, is accused of using the Michigan licensing number and name of an actual nurse to get a job at a Grand Rapids hospice care facility.

Officials said Gallarzo doesn’t have a valid nursing license. She claimed to have a master’s degree in nursing from George Washington University, but she doesn’t actually have any formal nursing degree of any kind, according to federal authorities.

“The allegations in this case involving a woman faking as a professionally licensed nurse are dangerous and put unsuspecting patients in harm’s way,” United States Attorney Mark Totten said. “My office takes these accusations very seriously.”

The facility learned that Gallarzo was an imposter when her fingerprints linked her to a similar case, officials said. In that case, Gallarzo was convicted for practicing nursing without a license in Texas from 2015-2016.

She’s currently charged with identity theft related to the transfer of the means of identification of another person, which is a 15-year felony.

“Any unqualified person who poses as a medical professional puts the lives of innocent patients at risk, as (is) alleged in this case,” said Devin J. Kowalski, acting special agent in charge of the FBI in Michigan.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.