A woman with a long history of imitation in other parts of Canada has been arrested and charged in Vancouver for allegedly posing as a nurse while working at BC Women’s Hospital for a year.
Brigitte Cleroux, 49, has been charged with fraud over $ 5,000 and intent with intent, according to a statement from the Vancouver Police Department (VPD).
Investigators say Cleroux used the name of a real nurse to get a job at the hospital, where she provided care to patients from June 2020 to June 2021.
“We do not yet know how many people in Vancouver may have received treatment from the fraudulent nurse, but we are working with the Provincial Health Services Authority to identify patients who may have had contact with her,” VPD Const. Tania Visintin said in the statement.
CBC News has previously reported that Cleroux is suspected of having given sedatives and anesthetics to patients in Vancouver without being qualified to do so.
Warning issued in June
The BC College of Nurses and Midwives confirmed that they issued a warning about Cleroux in June, saying she had never been registered to work as a nurse in that province. But this warning indicated her name as Melanie Smith or Melanie Cleroux.
Both of these names are included in a long list of aliases provided by the College of Nurses of Ontario, which also includes Brigitte Marier, Brigitte Fournier, Melanie Gauthier and Melanie Thompson.
According to a recent study by CBC reporters in Ottawa, Cleroux holds a 30-year record in imitating professionals, including nurses and teachers.
She was charged in Ottawa this summer after she allegedly forged to be a nurse at a medical and dental clinic in the nation’s capital. Vancouver officers say they worked closely with the Ottawa Police Service on their investigation.
Ottawa police claim Cleroux used a forged resume and a fake BC identity card using the Melanie Smith alias to get work.
Cleroux’s charges in the Ottawa case include assault with a weapon and criminal negligence causing bodily harm, allegedly for giving drugs and injections to patients who had no idea she was not certified to do so.
Never got permission to practice
Court records show that while Cleroux once attended nursing school in the United States, she did not complete it and was never allowed to practice.
Her crimes date back to at least 1991, when she was convicted of impersonation and forgery in Quebec at just 19 years old.
She has also been convicted of criminal mischief and property damage in Florida, as well as fraud-related crimes in Ontario and Alberta.
Cleroux has been taken in posing a nurse in Alberta and Ontario, and as a science teacher in Calgary.
Earlier, Cleroux had admitted to forging a nurse’s certificate in support of a job application, giving the police false identification and posing as a former roommate with a birth certificate in the roommate’s name to obtain a fake ID.
Vancouver police say she is currently in custody and awaiting her next trial.