A man who faked his qualifications to gain employment at the Waikato District Health Board as a psychiatrist has been sentenced to four years and three months in prison at the Hamilton District Court today.
Mohamed Shakeel Siddiqui, 56, pleaded guilty in March to four charges of deception and forgery after he was arrested in July 2015.
Siddiqui had sought to vacate his pleas upon changing to his fifth different lawyer Gregory Bradford but this was rejected by Judge Glen Marshall.
He has already served almost 21 months in jail before Monday's sentencing and will now be deported following the completion of his sentence.
Siddiqui was given the opportunity to address the court where he spoke of the hardship facing his two children living back in the United States if he's deported to his country of birth.
"I have no one to go back to in India. The system is designed to protect the family and that's what I want to do. If I have a sentence of over two years the chances of me returning to the US are nil," he said.
Judge Marshall told Siddiqui his offending had wide-ranging consequence for a number of people brought about by the deception.
"The risk to patients was a gross abuse of trust to some of the most vulnerable in society and the harm to the Waikato DHB reputation through loss of confidence in the organisation" he said.
As part of his job, Siddiqui was tasked with assessing and interacting with mental health patients, including some in secure facilities, and prescribing various medications.
He was earning a salary of more than $165,000, after being recruited by International Medical Recruitment, before suspicions were raised about his credentials, and charges were laid.