Brigitte Cleroux has made a career out of deception for decades.
OTTAWA — A woman who faces charges of passing herself off as a nurse in Vancouver pleaded guilty Friday to similar charges of assault with a needle, fraud and impersonation in Ontario.
Brigitte Cleroux has made a career out of deception for decades, and last summer she handily duped an Ottawa fertility clinic and later a dental surgery clinic into believing she was a registered nurse, only for her to leave patients bleeding or with loss of sensation for weeks.
Cleroux, 50, didn’t know how to give injections, draw blood or administer fentanyl because she’s not a nurse. She was just impersonating a nurse and got hired by a lead doctor and nurse at the fertility clinic last summer after presenting a forged résumé, right down to a diploma from the University of Miami.
Cleroux cried and at times had her head in her hands Friday as Ottawa Crown attorney Moize Karimjee read the disturbing statement of facts into the record with Ontario Court Justice Robert Wadden.
Karimjee is seeking 10 years for Cleroux’s crimes, but defence lawyer Ron Guertin will fight that at a sentencing hearing yet to be scheduled.
It was a nurse at the fertility clinic who uncovered Cleroux’s true identity after the bogus nurse’s “abrasive and aggressive” behaviour left one patient sobbing uncontrollably after being subjected to her aggression.
That nurse did some routine website searches and immediately found an alert about Cleroux, who had multiple aliases throughout North America that had her impersonating nurses and, in one case, a teacher. The investigating nurse revealed a con artist who had slipped through the hiring process by the clinic’s lead doctor and nurse.
When Cleroux was confronted about her aggressive behaviour, she quit in dramatic fashion, shoving the patient’s chart into the doctor’s arms. She was agitated and aggressive, according to the agreed statement of facts.
“I don’t need to do this, I am done with this place,” said Cleroux, who handed over her keys to the clinic on the way out. “I’m done. Do not call me.”
But the Cleroux’s career wasn’t over. She got hired at an Ottawa dental surgery clinic just five days later on Aug. 16 and went on to treat at least 12 patients at that clinic, including a child. On Friday, she pleaded guilty to assault and fraud for crimes committed at that clinic, too.
Cleroux’s latest con as a nurse ended on Aug. 23, when she left her new job at lunch to pick up a cheque at the fertility clinic only to be arrested by Ottawa police. Cleroux was wearing a nurse’s uniform when she was cuffed.
She remains in jail awaiting sentencing and will be assessed by a psychiatrist.
In late November, Vancouver police charged Cleroux with fraud over $5,000 and personation with intent, alleging she fraudulently identified herself as a nurse at B.C. Women’s Hospital between June 2020 and June 2021.
More news, fewer ads, faster load time: Get unlimited, ad-lite access to the Vancouver Sun, the Province, National Post and 13 other Canadian news sites for just $14/month or $140/year. Subscribe now through theor .