An Alaska woman pleaded guilty to stealing the identities of at least two nurses to obtain nursing licenses and jobs at schools and hospitals, including a job as coordinator of occupational-health nursing at Fairbanks (Alaska) Memorial Hospital. Becky Nadine Hunter pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Anchorage to 21 criminal counts, including identity theft, lying to the government, mail and wire fraud, and concealing assets. She faces up to 120 years in prison. The actions in question took place between 1998 and 2004. Soon after hiring Hunter in February 2000, Fairbanks Memorial fired her for lying on her application. In 2000, Hunter surrendered her three nursing licenses to the state. Prosecutors alleged that she used more than 20 aliases to defraud individuals and companies.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler in Anchorage said Hunter was expelled from the University of Portland (Ore.) School of Nursing in 1992 and never completed her nursing degree. In addition to misrepresenting herself as a nurse, Hunter allegedly forged documents saying she was a bone-marrow transplant patient in order to obtain free air travel. She faces a criminal trial next week on the single charge not included in her plea agreement -- allegedly lying on a loan application for $1.8 million to buy an asbestos-removal company. Hunter could not be reached for comment. -- by Mark Taylor