Gold Coast woman charged for allegedly faking COVID-19 exemptions

A woman who issued fake medical “exemption certificates” believed she was entitled to do so, despite not being a medical doctor, police have claimed.

Gold Coast detectives and investigators from Task Force Sierra Linnet searched a property on Robert Street in Labrador and arrested 45-year-old Maria Power, charging her with five counts of impersonating a medical doctor.
She is the first person in Queensland to be charged with the offence.
Maria Power has been charged with impersonating a medical doctor. (Facebook)
Police allege the certificates stated a person is exempt from undergoing COVID-19 testing, receiving a vaccine and wearing a mask.

Ms Power, from Darling Heights, was charged under Health Practitioner Regulation National Law with five counts of taking a title indicating a person is a health practitioner.

She is scheduled to appear at the Southport Magistrates Court on October 28.

It will be alleged that she told police she issued approximately 600 false medical ‘exemption certificates’ in relation to COVID.

This afternoon, police alleged Ms Power’s customers had come from “all mainland states”.

She allegedly charged up to $150 for certificates.

Police allege Ms Power was not a registered healthcare practitioner in Australia, and that while she held a doctorate, it was not a medical one.

“She doesn’t believe she has done anything wrong,” a police spokesperson said this afternoon.

“She believes she is entitled to issue these certificates.”

Police said they had received information about the woman from a “concerned” member of the public.

If found guilty, Ms Power could face a $10,000 fine and a potential prison sentence.

Investigations are continuing.

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