Former Hialeah firefighter charged with selling American Heart Association certificates – NBC 6 South Florida

A former Hialeah firefighter has been arrested after authorities say he made hundreds of thousands of dollars selling American Heart Association certificates to untrained recipients.

Carlos Ernesto Rojas, 60, was arrested in connection with an organized fraud scheme, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

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Carlos Rojas

Rojas, a retired Hialeah City firefighter with 20 years of experience with the department, reportedly issued more than 14,500 certificates on behalf of the AHA throughout 2021, charging $60 per card, the authorities said. prosecutors.

He may have banked more than $870,000 during that time, prosecutors said.

Rojas held AHA instructor certifications in a number of vital areas, including basic life support and advanced pediatric life support.

The investigation began after 14 people who Jackson Health Systems had offered jobs or promotions contacted Rojas seeking training.

These people alleged that they paid Rojas a total of $1,140.00 for the necessary courses and that they expected to receive training, but no training took place, prosecutors said.

Instead, they reportedly received electronic records from Rojas indicating that they had attended or successfully completed a course, authorities said.

After the allegations, an undercover officer contacted Rojas and obtained basic life support certification without any training from him in exchange for $60, officials said.

The investigation is ongoing and further charges could be brought, authorities said.

“Tampering with any certification always has the potential to put people at risk. However, tampering with lifesaving skills training creates an obvious risk in the event of a life or death situation, which these certifications were meant to prevent” , the state’s attorney said. Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. “I applaud the work of the Miami-Dade Police Department to end this almost invisible danger and I know that my prosecutors will bring this matter quickly before the judges of our criminal courts.”

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