Medicine – a profession built solely on good intentions – is seen as a noble profession, and patients naturally trust their doctors. Given that no one expects their doctor would lie to them, this trust was easily manipulated by a man in Sydney, who has treated patients for years with a falsified degree.

A doctor born through illegal means

In 1997, Turkish-born Ali Davut Sarikaya was convicted of obtaining money by deception from the Victorian WorkCover Authority. Ending up with a $24,290 judgment debt and costs of $6042, Sarikaya refused to pay this amount and was bankrupted after the conviction.

Since then, without formally changing his name, Sarikaya has gone by the title Dr David Kane, and, passing himself off as a psychologist, has been running the Sydney Trauma Clinic offering services in the treatment and management of psychological trauma and related disorders.

Law enforcement bodies including the New South Wales (NSW) police and the NSW Crime Commission have been pursuing Sarikaya for over a decade, although he always slipped through their fingers.

A police raid in 2009 led to evidence surfacing that Sarikaya had purchased a PhD from the American College of Metaphysical Theology for $249.95.

In 2010, the 54-year-old was charged with fraud for submitting invoices falsely representing that he was a psychologist. According to him, however, those charges were withdrawn in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

In the same year, he was charged with 20 offences involving the illegal use of the letterheads of the NSW Medical Board and NSW WorkCover Authority, as well as falsely using the signatures of their officers. Sarikaya claimed those charges too, were dropped.

He has also been charged with fraud in relation to the New Zealand Inland Revenue service for which Sarikaya admitted to submitting false invoices to the New Zealand government for $100,000 in psychology services. However, the Sydney magistrate accepted his claims that it was a joke and that he would have remitted the money had it been paid.

His past eventually caught up with him

In 2012 Sarikaya was appointed to the NSW Bar Association's Professional Conduct Committee to assist in disciplinary matters against barristers, only to be asked to resign two years later when issues regarding his identity arose.

The NSW Health Care Complaints Commissions (HCCC) deemed Dr David Kaye as posing “a risk to the health and safety of the public” after an investigation found he had no qualifications in psychology or counselling and that he was providing health services in an unsafe and unethical manner.

According to the HCCC, “Through his actions, Mr Kaye has deprived both the client and countless other clients over the years the opportunity to receive the care and treatment that they required from an appropriately qualified practitioner.”

Sarikaya has since been barred from providing health services until he gains the requisite qualifications.

Dr David Kaye denying to the grave

He recently launched a multimillion-dollar damages claim in the NSW Supreme Court for malicious prosecution, false arrest, wrongful imprisonment and misfeasance of public office. Sarikaya claims 83 charges had been laid against him between 2009 and 2011 but none had resulted in a conviction, and that the ongoing persecution had destroyed his clinics in Sydney and Melbourne.

According to him, he was told to drop his case as 'it would not be possible for me and my family to live without continued prosecutions by the police or the state in NSW'.

Sarikaya had reportedly dropped the Supreme Court after admitting to lying under oath, however, he intends to appeal the HCCC decision. MIMS

Read more:
5 “doctors” who never were
5 more “doctors” who never were
The rise of fake doctors due to the prestige of the white coat
Farid Fata: The global poster child for medical horrors
Medical malpractice suits and lying: Dilemma for doctors amidst peer pressure