By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 11 January 2023 • 21:12
Psychiatry session - Image seventyfour / Shutterstock.com
Manchester Crown Court heard on Wednesday, January 11 that Zholia Alemi had worked as a doctor in the UK for more than 20 years after claiming she was a graduate of the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
According to the Telegraph, she was described by prosecutors as a “most accomplished forger and fraudster.”
Christopher Stables opened the case by saying: “To put it bluntly, the defendant is a fraud.
“While she held herself out as being a doctor, she was utterly unqualified to do so.
“She is, say the prosecution, a most accomplished forger and fraudster, but has no qualification that would allow her to be called, or in any way to be properly regarded as, a doctor.”
Charged on 13 counts of fraud, Alemi denies the charges. According to the prosecution, she forged a degree certificate and a letter of verification that she supplied to the General Medical Council (GMC) in 1995.
The aim, the prosecution said, was to be registered as a doctor so that she could “practice” in the UK.
Alemi, aged 60, is also charged with three counts of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception, two counts of forgery and two counts of using a false instrument.
The defendant, who was born in Tehran in Iran, is said to have worked in a variety of psychiatry roles between 1998 and 2017. She first appeared in New Zealand in 1986 and married a year later, describing her occupation as a nurse.
By 1995 she had moved to Winchester after which she used the legitimate Commonwealth route to apply for registration. But Stables said: “She forged her qualifications, she made bogus assertions as to what her experience had been.
“In this regard, she completely deceived the GMC into accepting that she was a fully qualified doctor.
“In fact, she never was.
“The evidence will show that in fact the defendant failed her medical exams and after a number of repeated attempts at resitting them was asked to withdraw from the medical faculty.
“Rather than passing her exams she in fact failed them, was asked to leave and was never qualified at all.”
A police search of her home in Omagh, Northern Ireland revealed a briefcase containing part of a “forger’s kit”, including dry transfer letters and documents. The prosecution claims these were practice versions of the forged certificate and letter she submitted to the GMC.
The trial of the fake doctor who earned more than £1.3 million working for the NHS is expected to last between four and five weeks.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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