A man who posed as a psychologist treated as many as 44 patients, including a child. The man stole the identity of a doctor from Indiana who was licensed, enabling him to write prescriptions. The man, who had already pleaded guilty to posing as a psychologist, kept seeing patients and even opened up a mental health center in Chicago using the stolen doctor’s credentials. Federal investigators finally caught up with the imposter after being tipped off by a police officer.
Man Faces Charges
The man now faces a litany of charges including 24 counts of pretending to be a psychologist in Cook County. He was also charged with using a fake registration number along with the stolen identity to distribute a controlled substance. The last charge alone carries a four year prison sentence if found guilty. The man used his own photo along with the stolen name of the real doctor to advertise and run his clinic.
Patients Were Prescribed Drugs
Not only did the man pose as a psychologist but he treated patients, listening to their problems, providing therapy, and even prescribing drugs. All this was done under the real doctor’s name and identification. This is more than a simple case of negligence, it is criminal behavior. Those who were victims of his scam will likely be called upon to testify. One of the victims was a 9 year old to whom he prescribed Vyvanse, a drug that is commonly used to treat ADHD patients.
Not the First Time
As alarming as the details are in this case, the situation gets worse. As it turns out, this was not the first time the man had provided false information to treat patients. He also faced charges in 2010 in Florida stemming from similar activity. In that case he falsely represented that he had a degree from Kaplan University when in fact he does not. While the man apparently fancies himself a doctor, he allegedly does not have a degree and is not trained or licensed to be a psychologist.
Initial Charges Did Not Deter Him
The man had been charged and pleaded guilty to charges last year in Cook County. One woman who was treated by the fake doctor told reporters at the time that she felt “crushed, mortified, and violated”. When told of the recent charges she was appalled. The man had only received a minor penalty for the first conviction last October. It was apparently not enough to deter him from continuing his fake practice. Not only does he practice illegally but he also posts in Psychology Today.
Seek Legal Assistance
This case points out the need to properly check and validate medical professionals before you receive treatment. In this instance, the man was clever in fooling patients by using a false name. The name of the real doctor could be confirmed but the photo would not match. Those who are victims of medical scams and medical malpractice or negligence need to seek legal assistance. Contact the legal team at Levin & Perconti for a consultation to discuss your case.
See Related Posts:
Chicago-Area Psychologist Sexually Assaults Patient