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SCDJJ Contractor Arrested

Breach of trust charges filed …

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A woman who contracted as a registered nurse for the scandal-scarred South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (SCDJJ) was arrested this week by agents of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

Yolanda Omakia Cohen, 34, of Columbia, S.C. was arrested and charged with breach of trust with fraudulent intent with a value of $10,000 or more.  That’s a felony charge in the Palmetto State, one punishable by up to ten years in prison.

Cohen was booked at the Alvin S. Glenn detention center in Columbia following her arrest.  Ordinarily we would provide a copy of her mug shot, but this particular detention center does not make booking photos publicly available.

According to a probable cause affidavit accompanying the warrant for her arrest, Cohen – while working as a registered nurse for Nurses R Us – “did knowingly, willfully and unlawfully submit falsified time sheets, affixed with signatures she forged, in order to obtain payment for work she did not perform.”

The submission of these falsified time sheets – which allegedly spanned a period of time from January 1, 2017 to April of this year – resulted in “an overpayment to Cohen which exceeded $19,000.”

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SLED investigated the case at the request of SCDJJ, an agency that has been rocked by negative headlines in recent years.

According to the law enforcement affidavit, Cohen was arrested and charged based on information provided from witnesses as well as copies of the allegedly forged time sheets and payroll records from Nurses R Us.  The affidavit also referenced “Cohen’s admission she falsified time sheets for the purpose of obtaining money for her personal use.”

Even with that confession, we would remind our readers that Cohen – like anyone accused of committing any crime – should be considered innocent until proven guilty by our criminal justice system or until such time as she wishes to formally enter a pleading in connection with the case against her.

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