KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Morristown woman pretended to be a nurse for six years, between September 2012 and November 2018, according to the United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Tennessee. 

Misty Dawn Bacon, 44, pleaded guilty Thursday to wire fraud, health care fraud and identity theft. She faces 45 years in federal prison and fines up to $750,000. She may also need to pay more than $750,000 in restitution costs as well, according to authorities.

She gave medical care, handled medications, obtained invasive access to patient's bodies and had access to private medical information, according to authorities.

Bacon used other people's registered nurse license numbers to lie to potential employers about her credentials, according to the Department of Justice release. She reportedly worked with eight health care providers including nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities and a doctor's office. Yet, she never received any nursing experience, a nursing license or a nursing degree.

"This defendant created a substantial danger to public health through her lengthy criminal scheme," Douglas Overby said, U.S. attorney for East Tennessee. "Anyone who fraudulently poses as a licensed professional will be vigorously prosecuted by this office and an appropriate punishment will be sought."

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Bacon also made false entries into patients' records and submitted fake claims to health care benefit programs, according to authorities. Two of her previous employers paid a combined $500,000 for claims after learning Bacon was an imposter.

“Posing as a medical professional and putting the lives of innocent patients at risk is not acceptable,” said TBI Director David Rausch. “Our Medicaid Fraud Control Division remains committed to working with our federal partners to ensure healthcare fraud and identity theft cases like this one are addressed and investigated thoroughly.”

Sentencing has been set for April 3, 2020, at 1:30 p.m at the United States District Court in Greeneville.