Man Allegedly Treated Scores of Patients as Fake Doctor

Suspicions grew when he kept bumming rides
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2015 12:00 PM CDT
Man Allegedly Treated Scores of Patients as Fake Doctor
Donald Lee-Edwards   (Richmond County District Attorney’s Office via AP)

A New York man charged with treating up to 100 patients while pretending to be a clinical psychologist and physician over the past three years was done in by his penchant for bumming rides from patients and cooking them meals, CBS New York reports. Donald Lee-Edwards, 43, was charged this week with a variety of crimes, including criminal impersonation and unauthorized practice of medicine, according to CNN. The district attorney called him a "dangerous scam artist" and said he "posed a grave threat to the public." The New York Daily News reports Lee-Edwards, a former flight attendant and "eyebrow threader" with no medical degrees or licenses, came to the attention of authorities when patients became concerned about him sharing their personal information with other clients, cooking them dinner, and carpooling with them to and from the Staten Island Ferry.

CNN reports Lee-Edwards operated out of a basement apartment below his parents' home in Staten Island where he had treatment rooms, medical equipment, and lots of blood and urine samples. He would reportedly call in prescriptions for anti-depressants under a different doctor's name without pharmacies noticing, according to CBS. One former patient said he thought it was strange another doctor's name was on the Zoloft prescription he got from him. The Daily News reports Lee-Edwards, who allegedly bragged about his experience treating the victims of 9/11 even though he had none, collected thousands of dollars in co-pays but never billed any insurance companies. (More scam stories.)

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