A Staten Island man is facing criminal charges after pretending to be a clinical psychologists, treating over 100 patients in his home office, according to CBS Local. Donald R. Lee-Edwards, 43, claimed to have earned a PhD and gloated about working “extensively with family members and victims of 9/11.” However, none of the claims were true.
“This so-called “doctor” is a dangerous scam artist who never completed any medical school or doctoral program. He merely bestowed upon himself the professional titles of clinical psychologist and medical doctor; he is neither trained nor licensed to provide any mental health or medical services,” said District Attorney Daniel L. Master Jr. “He posed a grave threat to the public and I am asking that anyone who was seen by ‘Dr.’ Donald Lee-Edwards to please contact my office.”
Although Lee-Edwards would diagnose, take blood and urine samples,and interpret lab and test results just as a legit clinical psychologist would, his patients became increasingly suspicious of Lee-Edwards credentials while visiting his home office in an apartment he shared with his parents after he began displaying abnormal behavior, reported Big News Network.
“The way he would meet with them in the first meeting, he would have them sit on the sofa with him. Sometimes he would ask highly personal questions,” said Master. “He would give and accept rides back and forth sometimes from the Staten Island Ferry. He would cook meals for his patients in some cases.”
Kim Broadie who was one of Lee-Edwards patients claimed to have believed he was a real doctor and that he was treating him for depression. The fictitious doctor even prescribed him Zoloft.
On Friday, reporters spoke with Lee-Edwards’ mother, Valerie, about the allegations, and she claims that he completed his psychology degree online. However, when asked if her son possessed a licensed to practice medicine, she said: “I don’t know. I didn’t ask. He’s 43 years old. I don’t ask people at that age if they have a license.”
Lee-Edwards attorney Matthew Blum stated that he “just wanted to help treat people. There’s no evidence that he actually hurt anyone.”
“They’re making him out to be some sort of monster who was operating on people. But that’s not the case.”
Staten Island Police arrested the fake doctor on Wednesday, and he was charged with “criminal sale of controlled substances, identity theft, and criminal impersonation.” His arraignment was held on Thursday where his bond was set at $150,000. If he is convicted of the crimes, he could face up to five years in prison.
Investigators ask those who were treated by Donald Lee-Edwards to contact Staten Island police.
[Image via YouTube Screen Capture]