District: 'Fraud' physicals in Philly schools prompt investigations

- We're learning new information about investigations into a woman who Philadelphia School District officials say was "a fraud," performing physicals on students inside its buildings without a license.

FOX 29'S Jeff Cole has this update.

Dr. V. Renita Bey did $20 physicals in June for students athletes at George Washington High, paperwork obtained by FOX 29 Investigates shows.

Bey listed an Arch Street address on forms and a medical license number that officials now say doesn't exist.

"I was outraged," said one mom, who asked us to hide her face and change her voice. She says her kids got physicals.

She went to the district when they heard about the phony doctor. They told her their labor department is investigating.

"How does something like that happen with all the red tape and everything to get approved?" the mom asked.

School district spokesman Lee Whack acknowledges the physicals were at "several" schools and called it "a fraud" but wouldn't say how many students Bey examined.

"We have set in place protocols and procedures to make sure it doesn't happen again," Whack said.

He says parents were notified, and free physicals were offered to students.

The school district also alerted the city's district attorney, inspector general, and state officials. Whack declined to say more, citing ongoing investigations. No charges have been reported.

FOX 29 Investigates' review of legal cases shows "Vallahra Renita El Harre Bey" resided at the Arch Street address given on the physical forms.

We've reached out to her but haven't heard back.

Served with papers in a small-claims court case eight years ago, Bey responded from the Arch Street address, saying she's "exempt and immune," scrawling "void" across claims.

Those types of arguments seem to be a pattern. It appears Bey has been charged with some crimes under the name "Valerie R. Harvey" with the alias "Vallahra El Harre."

Pennsylvania court records show Harvey pleaded guilty in 2001 and got jail time on a felony count of receiving stolen property.

A local newspaper reported at the time she called herself in court "Queen Vallahra Renita El Harre Bey" of "the Great Seal of Moors," an indigenous people who preceded the United States. She claimed immunity, but the State Department helped prosecutors debunk that.

Records show she also has two prior bad check judgments, one of them across the river in New Jersey.

There are also several online videos of the "queen" lecturing on Moorish beliefs.

We showed one of the clips to a teen who got a physical, but she wasn't certain the woman in the old footage was Bey.

We asked the district's spokesman earlier this week what might be known of the fake doctor's past.

"Can you confirm that she has a criminal history, a history as a felon?" Cole asked.

"That's not something I can comment on," Whack said.

Again, there are no charges yet in connection with those physicals in Philly schools.

A spokeswoman for Pennsylvania Department of State, which handles licensing and verification, said they don't comment on investigations, but they do look at every potential violation of which they become aware.

While the state can, if it sees fit following an investigation, bring charges for unlicensed practice of medicine, that would carry a potential fine and cease-and-desist order. Criminal charges would have to be brought by local law enforcement or prosecutors.


1/20/17 statement from Lee Whack, Spokesman for the School District of Philadelphia:

Once this fraud was discovered we took immediate action and contacted parents. We reported to the District Attorney, the Inspector General’s Office and the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation. The School District  has also put in place added protocols and procedures  to ensure nothing like this happens in the future.

The School District of Philadelphia works closely with the Athlete Health Organization every year to make sure thousands of students get proper physicals. The District made every effort to assist student athletes affected by this fraud including working with the Temple University Athletic Training Program to provide physicals for our students and all student athletes have the proper physicals now.  

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