Hialeah school asks state investigators to look into ‘alarming’ barbers’ licensing fraud

HIALEAH, Fla. – Futura Career Institute in Hialeah warned state officials that there were fraudsters who were claiming that they had graduated from the accredited beauty and technical school when they never even attended.

Earlier this year, the institute contacted the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to report that the fraudsters were misusing the Futura Career Institute’s name to get state licenses.

“Some people are on the street falsifying signatures and applications,” a Futura Career Institute representative wrote in a letter reporting the “alarming ... criminal activity.”

The Futura Career Institute asked the state to review all of the licenses issued and the applications submitted that were related to the institute.

Records show the accredited school had nearly 90 students enrolled and 56 graduates last year. The school also has a 78% placement rate.

State inspectors are contacting the fraudsters urging them to surrender their licenses to “avoid disciplinary action.”

Victor Ramos, a licensed barber and instructor, was among those concerned about the ramifications of the fraud.

Ramos said his students spend hundreds of hours learning how to keep their customers safe. He said the dangers of not getting proper training include spreading diseases from customer to customer.

“We need to take this more seriously,” Ramos said.

Unlicensed barbers can face fines, and have their licenses revoked or denied, and so can the shops they work in. Futura Career Insitute is working with the state agency on fraudulent credentials being submitted by third parties.

About the Author:

Layron Livingston made the move from Ohio's Miami Valley to Miami, Florida, to join the Local 10 News team.