Students issued unaccredited degrees can receive restitution

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Paulina Buhagiar found out her certification fromPara Health Professionals, Inc. was worth nothing during a job interview in 2015. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Paulina Buhagiar found out her certification fromPara Health Professionals, Inc. was worth nothing during a job interview in 2015. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

People who paid for medical degrees that were worth nothing are getting a refund.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced that students who took classes at Para Health Professionals, Inc. and Examination Preparation Institute, Inc. are eligible to receive up to $60,000 in restitution

"These so-called schools scammed students who dreamed of becoming medical technicians in Arizona," Brnovich said in a statement. "Students paid thousands to become certified medical techs only to find out their certifications are effectively worthless. 

We first brought you this story two years ago.

Paulina Buhagiar found out her certification from Para Health Professionals, Inc. was worth nothing during a job interview in 2015. The potential employwer was unable to verify the school's credentials.

Buhagiar said she paid $15,000 for several short classes that lasted a four to six weeks each.

She fought for justice and her efforts paid off.

"It's not right for people who work hard and have it taken away like that. So now, I am thankful. I am so happy. I got the justice done. It's not just for me only," Buhagiar said.

Pamela Rae Davis and Ernest C. Esteban, who own and operate both Para Health Professionals and Examination Preparation Institute, admitted they falsely told students they could provide valid medical certifications that were equivalent to state-licensed certifications, the Attorney General's Office said.

The Attorney General's Office worked to get a judgment which requires Davis and Esteban to pay $40,000 in consumer restitution and up to $20,000 in additional restitution to resolve consumer complaints. 

Students who attended either Para Health Professionals, Inc. and Examination Preparation Institute Inc. have until April 17 to submit a complaint and documentation to the state Attorney General's Office. 

If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you can file a consumer complaint by contacting the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6504, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at 1(800) 352-8431.  Bilingual consumer protection staff members are available to assist. Consumers can also file complaints online by visiting the Attorney General’s website at https://www.azag.gov/complaints/consumer.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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