From Iceland — Local Woman Accused Of Impersonating A Nurse

Local Woman Accused Of Impersonating A Nurse

Published April 15, 2020

Sam O'Donnell
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Police arrested a woman on April 10th under suspicion of forging a medical degree and stealing drugs. An employee of Berg Nursing Home, Anna Aurora Waage Óskarsdóttir denies her guilt and insists that she is being framed. She also said that she has nothing to hide, and has cooperated from the outset. “They searched all my stuff and found nothing,” she said in an interview published in Mannlíf last week.

Skírnir Garðarson, the priest who blew the whistle on Anna Aurora, said he recognised the woman from when he was a priest in the Lágafell Church in 2013. At that time, he suspected her of swindling money from the church’s relief fund. She approached him to ask for assistance, copies of official-looking documents in hand. But Skírnir suspected she was being less than honest.

“I couldn’t give her any money or food until I could determine whether or not she was telling me the truth,” he said in a press release. As a result of the suspicion that Anna was presenting falsified documents, he called a social worker in Mosfellsbær. He wanted to see the original papers that she presented, but was not allowed access to them. After that phone conversation, he granted the woman a payout of 10,000 ISK. A month later, she sued him and the social worker for breach of privacy laws.

Skírnir said he knew she was working in healthcare when he saw her climbing into the Coast Guard helicopter on the news. He contacted Gylfi Ólafsson, CEO of the Westfjörds Health Institute on April 10th. He said he regrets not calling the police as soon as he saw her.

Bishop Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir said that Skírnir’s actions were a violation of the church’s confidentiality. In spite of this, he stands by his choice to speak up. “This is a matter of national security,” he said.

Indeed, in the midst of an international pandemic, it is vital to be certain that front line workers are legitimate. Initially, it was suspected that Anna Aurora was carrying COVID-19. “The police wanted to say I was trying to infect myself and others with COVID,” she said. “I just laughed.”

On April 10th, samples taken from Berg’s on-call unit were shipped to Reykjavík. On the morning of the 11th, it was confirmed that all samples were negative. The employees can therefore continue to care for the residents. Although this is good news, Anna is not pleased. “I find it very serious to suggest that I have been putting myself, colleagues, and patients at risk,” she said.

Anna said she intends to sue both Gylfi and the chief of police in the Westfjörds. “It is very irresponsible and unprofessional of the CEO to speak this way. This is very serious and I will sue him along with the police chief in the Westfjörds. I wasn’t thinking about myself, but the patients. Anything else would be very unnatural. This experience is quite scary, it’s unbelievable.”

Jón Bjarni Kristjánsson is Anna Aurora’s lawyer, and on April 11th, he issued a statement saying the allegations against her are far-fetched. Anna Aurora insists that even though she completed her medical training abroad, she was upfront about her credentials from the beginning.

It is worth noting that she has also claimed to be a forensic scientist according to a lawyer interviewed by DV. She said she had a “P.hd” in criminal medicine and volunteered to help the lawyer in a criminal case that the was working on. The lawyer realised that this was a scam and declined the offer, warning his colleagues about the woman. In addition, one man, Örvar Geir Friðriksson, says that he has pressed charges against Anna Aurora after he paid her 500,000 ISK last year because he believed she was a lawyer. The money was supposed to be used to found a holding company, which she never did, according to Örvar.

Between the aforementioned information and the fact that the back-up unit in which she had been employed at the nursing home was charged with embezzlement last year, it’s no wonder these charges are sticking to her.

As ever, those looking for more information or advice should go to the Icelandic Government’s excellent COVID-19 help page.

Tune into our daily COVID-Cast for a deeper dive into the day’s developments.

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

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