Fake doctor who handed out THOUSANDS of fake Covid vaccine exemptions is fined – as she reveals she tried to ‘end the tyranny’
A fake doctor who issued thousands of fake exceptions for people to dodge COVID-19 Tests, vaccinations and face masks were fined $25,000.
Maria Carmela Pau, who pocketed more than $120,000 during the fake certificate scam, pleaded guilty to impersonating a doctor in Southport Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
The 45-year-old distributed more than 1,200 fake Therapeutic Use Exemptions to people to circumvent mandatory COVID restrictions in place during the early wave of the global pandemic. She charged for each exemption.
The court was told Pau had shown no remorse and remained defiant against COVID-19 health advice, urging people to end “the tyranny” of mandatory restrictions.
Maria Pau had shown “no remorse” and remained defiant to Covid-19 health advice, the Gold Coast’s Southport Magistrates Court heard
Defense attorney Greg McGuire said Pau has a PhD in specialist studies and a master’s degree in public health and is eligible to call himself a doctor.
She also studied psychology for a few years and treated patients as an addiction counselor.
“The question is whether people believed she was a qualified doctor,” said Mr. McGuire.
“She was knowledgeable and obviously passionate about the subject and believed she had the authority to grant the exemption – she was not an office worker of Sally Smith who made these claims.”
Mr McGuire called for a “level head” and told the court Pau was deeply distressed and was in hospital for three days at the height of the ordeal.
She was publicly humiliated, her business destroyed and she couldn’t find work, he said.
“This was a woman who was only motivated to help people who might have been in distress,” he said.
“She was motivated by good intentions.”
The 45-year-old has an extensive social media presence where she claims her charity is “multi-award winning”.
While prosecutor Donn Reid said jail time was not out of the question, Mr McGuire called for Pau to be fined.
Acting Judge Mark Bamberry said Pau is clearly an educated woman but the restrictions were put in place to protect Queensland’s larger community during the deadly pandemic.
“She turned a blind eye and embarked on her own crusade,” said Mr. Bamberry.
He acknowledged Pau’s career had been “decimated” but said she had only herself to blame and the verdict should serve as a significant deterrent.
“The Queensland community needs to be protected,” Mr Bamberry said.
Pau faced a possible $60,000 fine and three years in prison for criminal offenses from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
Instead, she was fined $25,000 with no record of a conviction.
Pau declined to comment on the fine outside of court.