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New Jersey woman to face federal white collar crime charges

Law enforcement officials recently announced that a woman who lives north of Trenton has been returned to New Jersey to face federal white collar crime charges.

Authorities accuse her of running a fraudulent Totowa test-preparation business with her ex-husband. The pair reportedly fled the United States when they learned they were under investigation.

The woman, 39, was extradited to New Jersey from her native Latvia. She was found living in her hometown of Limbazi by Latvian officials.

Her ex-husband, 49, is still being sought by law enforcement agencies.

He is thought to be in Egypt, authorities indicated.

According to prosecutors, the pair used stolen medical licensing examination questions to entice potential students to enroll in preparation classes the two offered.

The woman was recently arraigned in a Newark courtroom, with her wrists and ankles shackles.

She was told that she faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the six counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy if she's convicted.

She and her ex-husband owned a company called Optima University, offering prep courses for medical school graduates getting ready for the United States Medical Licensing Examination. The test is required before a graduate can be accepted into residency at a hospital and before receiving a license to practice medicine in this country.

According to an indictment, the couple guaranteed that students would pass the examination. If someone failed, they would be allowed to retake the exam without paying additional fees.

Officials claim to have surveillance video of the woman recording medical exam questions with a "small digital device" in April of 2008.

Anyone facing white collar charges should discuss with an experienced criminal defense attorney the evidence and their legal options before speaking with prosecutors.

Source: NorthJersey.com, "Co-owner of Totowa test-prep company in court to face fraud charges," Peter Sampson, Nov. 5, 2012

  • Our Trenton firm represents clients facing a wide variety of criminal charges, including allegations involving fraud.

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