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'Anti-Covid' fake doctor charged patients $150 for bogus exemptions

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An anti-Covid campaigner who allegedly pretended to be a doctor and issued around 600 fake “medical exemption” certificates for COVID-19 has been arrested and charged on the Gold Coast.

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Police said the people who paid the woman $150 for fake certificates are also being investigated and potentially face fraud charges.

The fake certificates allow a person to be exempt from wearing a mask, taking a Covid test, or receiving a vaccine.

Police from Task Force Sierra Linnet searched an address in Labrador on the Gold Coast Wednesday and arrested the 45-year-old woman, who is from Darling Heights in Toowoomba.

Detective Acting Inspector Damien Powell said the woman was charged under Health Practitioner National Law with five counts of taking a title indicating a person is a health practitioner.

She is the first person in Queensland to be charged with the offence and faces a $10,000 fine and possible jail time.

She is scheduled to appear at the Southport Magistrates Court on Thursday.
28 October.

Powell said the woman, who holds a research doctorate but is not a medical doctor, is not registered with the Australia Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

She did not believe she had done anything wrong, he said.

“From what I’ve read of her documentation that she’d prepared, she’s basically anti-Covid,” Powell said.

“She does not believe that people should be forced into vaccinations and she’s not compliant with the regulations in relation to those issues.”

Powell said police were taking the case extremely seriously and were currently tracking down all holders of the fake certificates.

“Once we’ve identified these people, if they’ve obtained those documents under false pretences, knowing that she is not authorised to issue them, and they have then used those documents to their benefit, they can leave themselves open to prosecution for fraud type offences,” he said.

“If those documents are being presented to employers as being exemption from vaccination, then that exposes that person to risk of catching Covid because they’re not properly vaccinated. It also places their colleagues and workmates at risk so this is not a matter to be treated lightly and we’re taking it extremely seriously.”

Powell said police were prepared to crack down on behaviour that undermined the response to the Covid pandemic.

“There’s a lot of talk that Covid is a hoax and it’s not…this is a very serious matter and false certificates are false, they’re not going to protect you from anything, but a vaccine will.”

 

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