A con man who posed as a qualified paramedic and gave out 133 flu jabs has been spared jail.
According to multiple reports, Calvin Jordan Wahlberg, 40, admitted to forging two paramedicine degrees to get a job at a private medical company. Appearing in court this week, he pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud and forgery.
Nine News reports he earned over $500,000 while working with Corporate Protection Services Australia for five years, and Hastings for another six months.
Photos, obtained by the news outlet, show Wahlberg posing as a medical officer with the US Marines, as well as a paramedic back in Australia with the Queensland Ambulance and South Australia’s rescue helicopter.
The news outlet reports Wahlberg did begin by working at the Queensland Ambulance Service, but just as a medical dispatch officer nearly 10 years ago. He’s then said to have moved into the private sector.
A man who used fake qualifications to get a job as a paramedic in Central Queensland has avoided jail time after pleading guilt to forgery and fraud. Calvin Wahlberg won't have to pay back more than $500,000 in wages. Report on 7 News at 6pm. #7News pic.twitter.com/3CtqUKjHZG
— 7 News Central Queensland (@7NewsCQ) July 6, 2018
He only got found out when he tried to become a member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Paramedics, and they noticed the fake documents. He had reportedly stolen the number of another paramedic’s diploma and produced his own forgeries.
He was handed a wholly suspended sentence by Judge Deborah Richards, who cited that while he forged the paramedic documents, he was qualified to hold a job as an emergency medical technician.
“It’s not as if you had no training or you weren’t trained for the particular position you were involved in,” she reportedly told the court.
He’s since been dubbed the ‘Catch Me If You Can’ of the medical industry.
It comes amid a difficult few months for some of Australia’s ambulance services, as a series of staff have been targeted in cruel assaults by people they’re trying to treat.
As a result, paramedics in Victoria have been issued a list of “no-go zones” – with some even needing a police escort before they’re allowed to treat patients.
Ambulance Victoria has listed more than 200 addresses where they’ve warned workers they could be risking their safety when on call in the area. Meanwhile, six more addresses have been given extra precaution, and workers will need a police escort before they’re allowed to enter homes there.