Gold Coast Police Charge Woman For COVID Exemption Fraud

Caught out!

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A Queensland woman has been charged with fraud after falsifying documents pretending to be a medical practitioner.

The 45 year old from Labrador on the Gold Coast reportedly issued around 600 fake medical exemption certificates.

In an attempt to maneuver around coronavirus rules, the woman gave out certificates saying the holder was exempt from undergoing COVID-19 testing, receiving a vaccine and wearing a mask.

She has been charged with five counts of masquerading as a health practitioner, the first Queenslander to be charged with this offence.

Police say the woman holds no registered doctorate form and believes she was entitled to issue the certificates. 

“She’s indicating from what I’ve read that her qualifications and her interpretation of the legislation allows her too,” Detective Acting Inspector Damien Powell said.

“However that’s contrary to the view of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency who are the registering body.”

The woman could face a fine of $10,000 and provision for jail time.

Police say payments were made to the woman via bank transfer while she also accepted cash.

“This is not a matter to be treated lightly, and we’re taking it extremely seriously,” Detective Powell added. 

She is due to appear in Southport Magistrates Court on Thursday, October 28.

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14 October 2021

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