A woman in France who pretended to be a doctor and ophthalmologist using false qualifications for almost four years has been sentenced to three years in prison.
The 31-year-old from Seine-et-Marne (Ile-de-France) was found to have “illegally practised medicine” over the course of the four previous years.
The court heard how in 2018, the mother-of-three and property manager by training was unemployed when she saw a job advertisement for a doctor in Champs-sur-Marne.
She went on to obtain false doctor’s diplomas, and created a false record of registration with the Ordre des médecins.
During three and a half years, she held the position, and as part of her role administered Covid-19 vaccinations among other treatments.
During her trial, the woman said that she needed work to provide for her children, aged two, five, and nine, and that she had been “overwhelmed”. She said: “I was welcomed with open arms.”
Her story began to unravel in October 2021, when her employer made a complaint after discovering that her certificates were false and that her professional directory health number (RPPS (Répertoire partagé des professionnels de santé)) was also false.
The woman was fired and reported to police. During the investigation, it was discovered that she had never been a doctor at all.
However, before being investigated, the woman continued her fraud.
Despite being fired from her role as a doctor, she then went on to practise as an ophthalmologist for a month, across several communes in Ile-de-France, using two false identities.
Between 2019 and 2020, she pocketed a salary of €70,000 for her medical work.
The court also found that the woman already had an electronic tag on her ankle after being found guilty of “breach of trust” in a separate case in 2018.
The judge found that there had been no extenuating circumstances, and sentenced the woman to three years of prison, including two years inside, and one year suspended.