30 Years of Fake Nursing Ends With 7-Year Prison Sentence

A Canadian woman who officials allege faked being a registered nurse for some 30 years in Canada and the US is scheduled to appear in court next month after being sentenced to 7 years in prison.

Brigitte Cleroux, 50, is scheduled to appear May 18 on charges in Vancouver, British Columbia, of impersonating a nurse while working inside a local hospital. She was previously sentenced April 22 in an Ontario court after she pled guilty in January to seven offenses, including impersonation, assault with a weapon, and assault, according to CBC Radio-Canada.

Cleroux, who uses several aliases, had a long history of deception in three provinces in Canada, as well as in Colorado and Florida. The sentencing in Ontario stemmed from incidents at a medical and dental clinic in Ottawa last year, which included administration of medications to patients through needle injections, Ottawa Police reported in a press statement obtained by Medscape Medical News.

Authorities charged Cleroux in September with assault with a weapon and criminal negligence causing bodily harm, along with “personation to gain advantage,” obtaining by false pretense, and using a forged document, Medscape reported.

Cleroux has been in custody since her arrest by Ottawa Police in August.

The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) charged Cleroux last year with fraud of over $5000 and personation with intent. VPD investigated claims that an employee at BC Women’s Hospital fraudulently identified herself as a nurse while working there between June 2020 and June 2021, according to a VPD press release.

Nursing colleges in British Columbia and Ontario issued warnings that she had used aliases and purported to be a registered nurse to gain employment. The aliases included Melanie Thompson, Melanie Smith, and Melanie Cleroux.

Cleroux was believed to be a student in a nursing school in Colorado, but she only completed 2 years of a 4-year nursing course and was never certified as a nurse, according to CBC. Her criminal record dates back 30 years and includes 67 adult convictions and other convictions in her youth, CBC reported.

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