The man referred to himself as a naturopath but has never possessed a valid Swedish medical licence. He is suspected of swindling his patients out of an estimated half a million kronor ($72,000), Göteborgs-Tidningen (GT) reports.
“It’s incredibly cynical to milk these people for their money,” deputy prosecutor Daniel Edsbagge told the newspaper.
Earlier this year, news emerged that the man, with an address in Borås in western Sweden, had used cabbage, basil and mussel oil to treat a woman who was terminally ill with cancer.
Prosecutors had initially looked into the man’s activities in 2007, the year in which the woman died, but were forced to drop the case due to a lack of evidence. However, when the story came to light in February this year, police began to receive a steady flow of complaints from others who had fallen victim to the phony practitioner.
The suspect was arrested on May 7th, before being released two days later following a remand hearing.
But the investigation continued into the summer and authorities were able to make contact with more victims of the unscrupulous would-be medic after a raid on his home led to the discovery of accounts and a registry of patients.
Among his victims was a woman in her sixties whose insomnia was linked by the bogus physician to problems with her vagina, which he suggested treating with a herbal remedy.
According to the prosecutor, the man primarily preyed on people with incurable illnesses. One woman with Parkinson’s disease allegedly shelled out a total of 250,000 kronor only to be sexually abused a number of times over the course of her treatment.
The suspect’s lawyer, Eva Smerling Winman, said her client denied committing any offence, GT reports.