A Placer County woman faces criminal charges in both Placer and Sacramento counties after she allegedly posed as a Registered Nurse and used someone else’s professional license to gain employment at five area health care facilities.
Lara Noelle Bennett, of Meadow Vista, does not have a license to work as a Registered Nurse in California and she has been charged with a total of 16 counts by the District Attorney’s offices in the two counties.
An investigation was conducted by the Investigation and Enforcement Unit Sacramento Field Office of the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation. The investigation was initiated after an employer noticed inconsistencies in an application completed by Bennett. The employer then contacted the Board of Registered Nursing, which confirmed that Bennett was not licensed.
The investigation revealed that in 2015, Bennett earned over $15,000 from her alleged fraud. The licensee whose name Bennett used to gain employment was unaware that her identity had been stolen.
The Placer County District Attorney’s Office filed eight counts against Bennett, including four felony charges of identity theft, two felony charges of grand theft from an employer and two misdemeanor charges of unlawful use of the title Registered Nurse.
The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office filed three felony counts of identity theft, three misdemeanor counts of practicing nursing without a license, two felony counts of grand theft and one misdemeanor count of theft.
Bennett was scheduled to appear in Sacramento County Superior Court on November 2, 2016, but failed to appear. Bennett also failed to appear in court in Placer County on October 21, 2016. Judges in each county issued bench warrants for her arrest and she was taken into custody on December 23, 2016. She is currently being held in Sacramento County and is ineligible for bail. She will be back in court in Sacramento County on January 11, 2017.