Judge: Burnley's fake psychiatrist deceived people wickedly

I'm Zholia Alemi

A judge has referred to a woman's "wicked deception" in fabricating a medical degree certificate so she could work as a psychiatrist for more than two decades.

Manchester Crown Court was informed that Zholia Alemi claimed to have earned her degree from the University of Auckland in New Zealand and worked all over the United Kingdom.

Alemi, of Plumbe Street in Burnley, had pleaded not guilty to 20 offenses, including forgery, but the jury still found him guilty.

She could serve a "considerable length" of time in prison, according to Judge Hilary Manley.

On 28 February, she will be sentenced in court after being found guilty of 13 counts of fraud, three counts of obtaining a financial advantage through deception, two counts of forgery, and two counts of using a false instrument.

After sending the fake certificate to the General Medical Council (GMC) to register to practice in 1995, the court heard that Alemi had earned up to £1.3m in salaries from the NHS.

Additionally, the court heard that she sent a forged letter of verification that stated "six years medical trainee with satisfactory grade" and had the word "verify" spelled as "varify.".

Alemi had listed three different birthdates on documents, according to prosecutor Christopher Stables, who also stated that Alemi was thought to be 60.

According to university records, Alemi, who was born in Iran, was disqualified from reapplying to the New Zealand university after failing exams.

She stated that she and her family had fled to New Zealand as a result of being tortured.

The court was also informed that Alemi, who formerly resided in High Harrington, Cumbria, had been sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of three fraud offenses in 2018 relating to the forgery of an 84-year-old woman's will, which would have left her the woman's Keswick bungalow and $300,000.

When speaking to her, Judge Manley declared that there was "only one possible sentence and that will be a sentence of immediate custody of some substantial length.".

She claimed that she worked for a prolonged period of time with "possibly very vulnerable people" while engaging in a "deliberate and wicked deception" against a number of health authorities.

Alemi committed a "very grave" crime, she continued, but she also questioned "how this defendant was able to practice for so long, in so many positions.".

After Alemi's conviction in 2018, the GMC apologized for its "inadequate" checks in the 1990s and started an urgent review of the approximately 3,000 foreign doctors practicing in the UK.

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