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Meet 'Dr Doug', the heartless conman who is exploiting sick and dying Australians.

He’s the international fraud who is scamming some of Australia’s most vulnerable people.

He spends his days reaching out to desperately ill Australians via the internet, and tonight 60 Minutes exposed the dark truth behind the Canadian man who calls himself ‘Dr Doug’.

Doug Broeska has made a living off promising terminally sick people a glimmer of hope. Offering an international clinical trial of a stem-cell treatment to sufferers of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS), ‘Dr Doug’ has been pocketing up to US $35,000 per patient as a downpayment for what he says are life-changing treatments.

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Doug Broeska has made a living off promising terminally sick people a glimmer of hope. (Image via Channel 9)

According to his promotional videos, these state of the art treatments are administered in a modern and well-equipped hospital in India. These treatments, he guarantees, will slow down debilitating diseases and in some cases even stop them in their tracks.

But these stem cell treatments are a scam – a shocking truth discovered by innocent sufferers like Jamie Wild.

Jaime is a Gold Coast mum of three and a loving wife, whose health has rapidly deteriorated as a result of MND.

Just over a year ago Jamie was busy running around after her three kids Brandyn, Dylan and Abby – but in recent weeks she has lost her ability to walk. Watching her daughter suffer with the aggressive and debilitating illness, Jamie’s mum Kate felt compelled to hand over US $25,000 to Doug Broeska, in the hope that he could change her daughter’s life.

Once the money was processed, Doug disappeared, leaving Jamie’s mum and family distraught.

“It just felt like someone had ripped my stomach out from me.  I couldn’t confront Jaime for a week.

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Jaime is a Gold Coast mum of three and a loving wife, whose health has rapidly deteriorated as a result of MND. (Image via Channel 9)
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Jamie and her mum are not alone.

Mark Taplin, an MS sufferer from Adelaide, was also desperately seeking a cure from MS when he came across Mr Broeska. Believing the treatments would help him to better look after his son Charlie, who has Down Syndrome, he paid US $20,000 online.

Having suspicions that Broeska was a fraud, Mark Taplin decided not to go through with the treatment and despite being promised his money back, Mark never heard from the conman again.

These are stories that Sandra O’Brien, a long-term sufferer of MS, is all too familiar with. After living with the disease for fifteen years, Sandra was promised that Broeska’s stem cell treatment would guarantee her a full recovery. Sandra transferred a total of US $35,000 to Broeska, and made the trip to India for what he termed a “Combined Therapy” treatment. While she felt slightly better following the treatment, her symptoms have slowly returned.

Speaking to 60 Minutes‘ Ross Coulthart, Sandra explained she believed she’d found the cure for what has plagued her life for so long.

He is one of the biggest con men, and it took me a long time to accept what he’d done, because he’s so good at it.

I, um…thought I was going to get my life back again.”

Broeska’s promise of a better life that’s free of disease was a hollow one, says Neurologist Mark Freedman, the director of Ottawa Hospital’s MS research unit and an expert on stem cell treatments.

He’s taking money. He’s obviously making money on this. I think a true researcher does not make money on their…on the patients who contribute to the research.

“He’s a predator.”

Neurologist Mark Freedman, the director of Ottawa Hospital’s MS research unit.

‘Dr Doug’ is many things, but a researcher and a scientist he is not. While he fabricated a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Manitoba and purchased his PHD from a website, Mr Broeska’s occupation history reads very differently to what he broadcasts online. In reality, Broeska’s scientific expertise is negligible at best. The experience he does have is in the timber industry, and in managing Playboy models for events.

When interviewed on his estate in Winnipeg, Canada, Broeska explained to 60 Minutes that he is actually the victim in all of this.

“Can I tell you that we paid the money to the clinic, we overpaid the account and they owe the money.  We haven’t… We haven’t… We have not dealt with that yet.”

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has reportedly refused to act against Doug Broeska – while innocent Australians are back at home, still hoping that they will see their money again.

What was your reaction to tonight’s episode of 60 Minutes?