The Guardian
Judge jails fake NHS psychiatrist and criticises ‘abject failure of scrutiny’
By Josh Halliday North of England correspondent
February 28, 2023

— Excerpt

A bogus psychiatrist who practised in the NHS for 22 years with a fake degree has been jailed, as a judge criticised medical authorities for an “abject failure of scrutiny”.

Zholia Alemi was ordered to serve seven years in prison after being found guilty of a “deliberate and wicked deception” that allowed her to treat hundreds of patients across Britain.

Alemi, who is believed to be 60, earned £1.3m in wages after forging the degree certificate she used to register with the General Medical Council (GMC) in 1995.

Sentencing her on Tuesday, Judge Hilary Manley said the offences “strike so very deeply at the heart of healthcare provisions in this country”.

She added: “That the degree certificate and supporting letter were accepted by the GMC represents an abject failure of scrutiny. You benefited from that failure and of course from your own deliberate and calculated dishonesty.” …

She said Alemi, who was able to detain patients against their will and prescribe powerful drugs, moved around the UK to different posts to ensure “the finger of suspicion” did not point at her…

Alemi was convicted in 2018 for three fraud offences and a count of theft after trying to forge the will and powers of attorney of an elderly patient…