GREENFIELD — A McCordsville woman who passed herself off as a nurse in order to get a job providing medical care to people with disabilities won’t serve jail time for her crimes, court records show.
Ashley Trent, 29, will spend 7½ years on probation as part of an agreement with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office. She pleaded guilty in September to five felony counts of forgery, one felony count of theft and two misdemeanor charges of practicing nursing without a license. She was sentenced Thursday afternoon in Hancock Circuit Court.
Investigators found Trent had faked a nursing license to be hired in July 2012 at Developmental Service Alternatives in Greenfield, according to court documents.
She was arrested in July and charged with two misdemeanor charges of practicing nursing without a license and 11 felonies, including 10 counts of forgery and one count of theft.
Developmental Service Alternatives operates 16 group homes across Central Indiana for people with developmental disabilities. Trent had been providing medical care to residents in several facilities across Central Indiana, including the Greenfield location, for more than a year before investigators learned her license had been forged, court records indicate.
Trent faces similar charges in Marion and Hamilton counties, where she worked at other Developmental Service Alternatives branches. She’s expected to plead guilty in those cases as well, investigators said.
Investigators said Trent forged dozens of documents during the time she was working for the organization, court records state. These included reference letters from her past employers and letters stating she had passed her boards and received a nursing license.
Her employers became suspicious when Trent repeatedly fumbled patients’ medical care. When her supervisors inquired about Trent renewing her nursing license, she provided them bogus messages from the state nursing board about a computer glitch that had delayed her license renewal process, court records state.
Investigators said Trent also faked a cancer diagnosis to receive time off work and to avoid being reprimanded for poor job performance, court documents state. She provided her supervisors with documents detailing her cancer care, the diagnosis and treatment plan, all of which included forged signatures from an oncologist, court records state.
Trent resigned in 2014 after being told she was suspended for the investigation.
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office and Hancock County Prosecutor’s Office launched a joint investigation.
Trent originally faced 10 Class C felony charges of forgery and one Class D felony charge of theft. Each charge carried a penalty of two to eight years behind bars. She had also been charged with two Class B misdemeanors of practicing nursing without a license. Each could have resulted in six months of jail time.