A fake Iran-born doctor who falsely claimed "tortured" by Iranian authorities has been convicted in the UK of a “deliberate and wicked deception” for forging a medical degree certificate and practicing as a psychiatrist without prerequisite qualifications.
Zholia Alemi, around 60 years of age, worked in hospitals across England, Wales and Scotland and received large income and benefits throughout her career, the Manchester crown court heard on Wednesday, according to reports in the British media.
Alemi was found guilty of 13 counts of fraud, three counts of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception, two counts of forgery and two counts of using a false instrument.
Judge Hilary Manley remanded Alemi into custody and informed that Alemi would face a prison term “of some substantial length” when she is sentenced at the same court on 28 February.
She said the deception carried out against health authorities enabled the fake Iran-born doctor to work with “potentially very vulnerable people over a long period of time”.
Alemi had earned up to £1.3m in wages from the NHS after having sent the forged certificate to the General Medical Council (GMC) to register to practice in 1995.
Christopher Stables, prosecuting, said Alemi was believed to be 60, but had given three different dates of birth on documents.
According to BBC news, university records showed Alemi, who was born in Iran, was stopped from re-enrolling at the university in New Zealand after failing exams.
Also, the court was told Alemi, who previously lived in High Harrington, Cumbria, had been jailed for five years after being convicted of three fraud offenses in 2018 in relation to the forging of the will of an 84-year-old, which would have seen her inherit the woman's Keswick bungalow and £300,000.
Alemi had falsely claimed that she fled from her home country Iran to New Zealand after she and her family were "tortured" following the Islamic Revolution.
Exploiting the misinformation campaign against Iran to serve their personal goals, which has intensified since the end of 2022, fake stories on torture and rape allegedly carried out by the Iranian government keep surfacing.
Earlier in January, Hassan Firouzi, 34, was arrested near the Persian Gulf island of Qeshm in southern Iran while attempting to exit the country – in a completely sound and healthy state.
As per his own admission, Firouzi was a financial defaulter and owed money to many people, which made him produce a theatrical scenario of arrest, torture, execution, coma, and the escape act.
Western-backed media stand behind feeding the media with such stories, mainly led by Iran International and BBC Farsi.
A media report back then said Firouzi suffered from “internal bleeding” due to “severe torture” and his left kidney had been damaged due to “harsh blows using the chair leg.”
It further noted that he had been “left unattended by prison officials” and placed in solitary confinement “without any care.”
And, when he was finally shifted to a hospital, the intelligence officials of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) “attacked the hospital and kidnapped” Firouzi, the report added.
However, the lies were revealed when Firouzi was arrested trying to flee the country and explained that he had lied to get out of the situation he was stuck in. The story got zero attention from Western media and the lies continued to spread like wildfire.
Since the beginning of the unrest in Iran triggered by the death of a young woman who collapsed in police custody and passed away three days later, Western-backed media outlets and social media platforms have also turned into a battleground of anti-Iran narratives and fake news.
The online campaign is fed by fake accounts used by members of anti-Iran groups like the notorious Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization terrorist cult.