Arrest Date: October 18, 2022
Michelle Renee Wimes
Grace Medical Training
1456 Old Dixie Highway
Vero Beach, Florida
Crime: Organized Fraud
Michelle Renee Wimes, formerly known as Michelle Hudson to her students, defrauded 37 people out of approximately $93,895. Thirty-three year old Wimes, an unlicensed care personnel, is accused of owning and operating Grace Medical Training Center, an illegal medical training program in Vero Beach, Florida as well as misrepresenting herself as a nurse. Grace Medical Training Center claims to have offered courses such as CPR, home health aid, medical assistant, phlebotomy, CNA, and a practical nursing program.
Records show that Wimes, who sometimes went by “Miss Cee” used two of her friends, who were both nurses and credentialed instructors to be listed as school faculty as well as signees for graduation certificates. Police Chief David Currey states that these two friends were under the impression that they would be volunteers for the pinning ceremony, and had no idea their names were on the list of faculty and certificates, clarifying that this was done without their consent.
For ten months, students filed in line one by one for their ticket to a better future. Scholars were promised that after a ten month long course at a cost of $5,300, they’d receive their certificate of completion to practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).
Authorities began their investigation into Wimes when graduates of her practical nursing program tried to register for the NCLEX exam, the national certifying exam that a nurse candidate must pass to receive their nursing license. Representatives from the exam informed the students that they had no record of them graduating from an approved and accredited school. That is when students found out that neither Grace Medical Training Center or Michelle Wimes has ever been approved to provide any medical instruction.
In June of 2022, a lawsuit was brought against Michelle Wimes but according to court records, the lawsuit was not valid because the Plaintiff was instructed they needed to sue Grace Medical Training Center itself, and not the owner.
Frustrated, multiple police reports were made by students against the school. As soon as an investigation into the school began, Wimes closed the school down. The investigation resulted in a seizure of documents proving that nearly 40 students had paid the owner for classes.
Police Chief Currey is exploring the possibility that because of the training school’s affordable cost, which was typically lower than most schools in the area, students were drawn to the LPN program. Authorities also found evidence that she was planning to open another school in Port St Lucie, Florida, about 35 miles away from Vero Beach.
One woman told CBS12 News that over the summer, she paid for the practical nurse program but the Florida Department of Education informed her that because the school was unlicensed, the school had been shut down. She proceeded to file a criminal complaint with the local authorities.
A spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Education, Cassie Palelis made the following statement:
“The Commission for Independent Education is working with the Board of Nursing regarding Grace Medical Training”.
Wimes was arrested on October 18, 2022 and charged with organized fraud. According to Statute chapter 817 section 034, organized fraud consists of “any person who engages in a scheme to defraud and obtains property. If the property obtained has an aggregate value of more than $50,000 or more, then it is a felony in the first degree, punishable by up to thirty years in prison and a $10,000 fine.” Wimes posted a $30,000 bail and was released from the county jail. Her arraignment is December 2, 2022 at 8:45am.
According to Florida records as of October 20, 2022 there is an active Florida Limited Liability Company (LLC) “Grace Medical Training” registered under the name Michelle Hudson. It has been active since March 1, 2022. She has also registered and dissolved several other companies in Vero Beach throughout the last nine years. Other than Grace Medical Training, LLC, Michelle Wimes has another active company under the name Michelle Hudson, which is registered under “Shell’s Home Care LLC” that was recently reinstated on January 4, 2022.
This article is written as a reminder of the following:
- Always obtain the proper approvals when operating a healthcare training school. Every state has a proprietary, post secondary education, or department of higher education division that is responsible for deciding if a school requires licensing or approval to operate. You can check HERE to see who oversees this process in your state.
- If you are aware you are operating a healthcare training program and you do not have the proper approvals, please reachout to us so we can help you! We specialize in helping schools obtain licensing and approval to operate certificate level healthcare training programs. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
This article was written by Leslie Lawrence LPN, an Instructor for the phlebotomy technician program at H.E.R.O Institute located in Marietta, GA.