Manitoba doctor accused of defrauding another physician by faking cancer, lying to college

When Dr. Meaghan Labine met Monica Kehar in 2018, they almost instantly became friends.

The two women had been elected to sit on the national body representing the College of Family Physicians of Canada and appeared to have a lot in common.

Both had gone to medical school and were doing their residencies to become family doctors. Labine was at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Thunder Bay, while Kehar was at the University of Manitoba.

But within about eight months in 2019 and 2020, Labine was out $160,000 after Kehar asked her for financial help following her diagnosis with cancer.

When the cancer proved to be fake, Kehar seemed to disappear into thin air. 

“My heart just dropped,” Labine said in an interview with CBC News from her home in Thunder Bay. “All I thought was, I’ve been played. Like, I felt like an idiot.”

Expelled, censured

For the past four years, Labine has been on a mission to track Kehar down and bring her former friend to justice. She even hired a private investigator to try to locate her.

Kehar was censured by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba in 2020 and expelled from her medical program after they found she had fabricated evidence of a non-existent serious medical condition.

The expulsion meant she couldn’t practise medicine in Canada, but a CBC News investigation found Kehar moved to British Columbia and started an electrical muscle stimulation company — and called herself an MD.

Under Canada’s medical regulatory system, even though Kehar is not licensed to practice medicine, she is allowed to call herself an MD or doctor, as long as she is not providing health care or implying she is entitled to practise medicine.

MD is the abbreviation for a doctor of medicine degree, which Kehar has, even though she didn’t finish her medical residency and isn’t licensed to practice medicine.

An expert in the field says this is misleading and dangerous to the public.

“People are being deceived,” said Timothy Caulfield, a University of Alberta professor in the faculty of law and school of public health.

“I’m really concerned with the degree to which the phrase or the word or the title doctor is being used.”

Started with cancer claim

CBC News has emailed and spoken to Kehar over the phone for weeks. She would not do an interview or provide comment for this story.

Shortly after Labine and Kehar first met, Kehar stopped attending their College of Family Physicians meetings and no one seemed to know what had happened to her. Labine sent her a text but didn’t hear back. 

Then out of the blue Kehar replied.

“Oh, Meaghan, thanks for reaching out. I’ve been having a really hard time. I got this diagnosis of breast cancer, and I haven’t been supported by my university,” is how Labine paraphrased Kehar’s text.

‘Seemed legitimate’

Eventually Kehar told her she had been accepted into a residency program at the University of Calgary and had moved to Alberta, she said.

“Her story up to that point seemed legitimate,” Labine said.

Not long after that, Kehar started asking Labine for money.

“She needed some help for the day, just to find a place to stay. So that was where it started,” Labine said.

Kehar’s first ask was for $500, but over the course of eight months, the tally grew by tens of thousands of dollars. 

A picture of a woman with short hair sitting on a couch.
Dr. Meaghan Labine says she lent Monica Kehar over $160,000 after Kehar told Labine she had breast cancer and needed help. Labine has been trying to recoup the money ever since. (Marc)

Labine drew up contracts that Kehar signed, committing to paying her back. 

“It just seemed like no matter how much I lent, it was never enough,” Labine said.

Labine continued to lend Kehar money because she thought if she didn’t help her finish medical school, she would never get her money back.

Kehar told her the money was coming and even sent her an email proving she had a job offer from an established doctor, Labine said.

But when Labine ran into that doctor at a meeting for the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the doctor had never heard of Monica Kehar.

That is the moment when Labine knew she had been played, she said.

“I felt absolutely humiliated,” she said. “How could I be so stupid as to be led on like this?”

A picture of a woman beside a machine with a bed beside her and wires coming out of the machine.
This photo of Monica Kehar was taken from a blog post advertising her electrical muscle stimulation company Prestige Body Lab. (

Labine later learned Kehar had taken money from others, too, so she contacted the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba, which is the licensing body for doctors in this province.

She’s now out $162,020 and has no idea if she will ever get it back.

In July 2022, Labine won a default judgment against Kehar in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice but hasn’t received a penny back. She recently filed a lawsuit against Kehar in B.C. to try to recoup the money.

According to court records, Kehar has a history of not paying some of her bills.

An April 2019 decision by the Manitoba Residential Tenancies Branch says she breached an agreement with her Winnipeg landlord and was ordered to move out.

A further decision by Residential Tenancies says she had abandoned her apartment and her items were to be sold at a public auction.

Expelled by U of M

Court records also show in 2018, Kehar got into an accident in Winnipeg with an uninsured vehicle. MPI sued her for $1,318.09 and won, because she didn’t show up at court. 

In May 2019, she was sued by high interest lender AAR Financial for $7,732.17 for an unpaid debt. The court garnished her wages from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, but she was no longer employed there, the WRHA said.

Kehar was investigated by the University of Manitoba for altering emails and faking a serious illness to get her medical colleagues to lend her a substantial amount of money.

She was eventually expelled from residency and censured by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba, which did its own investigation. 

Kehar initially claimed someone hacked her account and altered the email in question but later admitted to doing it herself due to “a brief episode of mental exhaustion.”

Tim Caulfield looks off camera as he is interviewed. He's sitting in front of shelves lined with books.
Timothy Caulfield, a University of Alberta professor in the faculty of law and school of public health, says there needs to be better regulation of how unlicensed doctors are allowed to advertise themselves. (Sam Martin/CBC)

She appealed her expulsion twice in 2019 and told the university’s local discipline committee that she had a serious health condition for which she underwent surgery. She provided the College of Physicians and Surgeons with a letter purportedly written by the office manager of her surgeon’s clinic, confirming she underwent a procedure.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba censure said the letter Kehar provided to the college had been written years earlier and was altered to “align with the false story.”

Kehar eventually admitted that she misrepresented the timing and nature of her procedure and falsified the letter to corroborate that.

She also acknowledged that she lied to two of her medical colleagues about her personal circumstances and health to garner support, and that they had loaned her “substantial sums of money in response to requests from her for assistance on multiple occasions.”

Her expulsion from her residency was upheld. 

WATCH | College finds doctor pretended to have serious medical condition:

Expelled Manitoba doctor accused of defrauding colleague by faking cancer to borrow $160K

53 minutes ago

Duration 4:25

An investigation by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba found that Monica Kehar pretended to have a serious medical condition in order to get colleagues to lend her a substantial amount of money.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons found her actions to be “particularly egregious, unacceptable and unprofessional conduct for a member of the medical profession.” The censure was posted online to “fulfil the college’s public protection mandate.”

Kehar is not authorized to practise medicine in Manitoba or anywhere in Canada but she is still allowed to call herself a doctor because she has a medical degree.

Kehar calls herself doctor in B.C.

CBC located Kehar in British Columbia, where she’s been living since at least March 2021. 

She registered a company called Prestige Body Lab in Vancouver, which has since closed.

On social media and on business cards, the business says: “M.D. provided Electrical Muscle Stimulation” and “first session guaranteed two-five inch loss or no charge.”

“She basically grew her business by influencer marketing,” social media influencer Gina Judge said in an interview with CBC News.

Judge said she had a good experience working with Kehar and received free services in exchange for honest testimonials.

A competing business lodged a complaint against Prestige with the Fraser Health Authority, raising concerns that Kehar was representing herself as a doctor, Judge said.

A screenshot of an Instagram post that shows before and after photos. Both photos are of a person with their shirt pulled up and their belly showing. The belly on the right looks slightly smaller than the one on the left. The text on the side of the photo says that you can "book your free MD consultation."
A 2021 post from Prestige Body Lab advertises that people can book a free MD consultation. (Instagram/prestigebodylab)

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia says individuals who obtain a medical degree are allowed to call themselves doctor or indicate they have an MD, even if they are not actively practising medicine.

“They may not, however, imply or mislead the public into thinking that they are licensed to practise medicine,” the college said in an email to CBC News.

Fraser Health confirmed it received a complaint about the business but wouldn’t confirm the nature of the complaint, only that it was “investigated and resolved in accordance with our regular process.” 

University of Alberta Prof. Timothy Caulfield has serious concerns about the rules around unlicensed physicians calling themselves doctors.

“There’s so much health misinformation out there. There’s so many fraudsters out there, and I think the public needs some clarity when someone uses the title doctor. I would like it to mean something,” Caulfield said.

It’s deceptive and could be harmful in cases where doctors who have lost their licence promote supplements or give free advice on a host of medical issues, he said.

A picture of two business cards with a black background. It says that they have M.D provided services.
Business cards posted on the Facebook page for Prestige Body Lab advertise that services are MD provided. (Facebook/Prestige Body Lab)

“You know, when they see that, that title doctor, they assume often, especially in the health space, that they are medical doctors, that they’re licensed medical doctors, and are surprised when they find out that’s not the case,” Caulfield said.

“So it’s very misleading.”

He wants to see tighter rules in Canada about who can use the title doctor, suggesting that only practising doctors be allowed to refer to themselves as such. Physicians who have retired or lost their licence should have to indicate they are unlicensed, he said.

In April, Kehar spoke with CBC reporters on the phone, but she refused to be interviewed for the story.

Labine says Kehar reached out to her after being contacted by CBC, and told her she would pay her back.

“There were many inconsistencies in her story that were similar to years prior, which makes me doubtful of her intention,” Labine said.

She alleges Kehar is being extremely evasive and trying to avoid the story by agreeing to pay back what she owes.

“When pressed for specifics or meeting with my lawyer, she provides nothing,” Labine said.