A 43-year-old former flight attendant was arrested Friday on charges he pretended to be a medical doctor and psychologist, allegedly treating more than 100 patients from his basement apartment for the past 3 years.
Donald Lee-Edwards, 43, of New York, never graduated medical school or earned a doctoral degree to be licensed for either profession, Acting Richmond County District Attorney Daniel Master said. But he prescribed patients medications and took blood and urine samples, investigators said.
“He merely bestowed upon himself the professional titles of clinical psychologist and medical doctor,” Master said. “He is neither trained nor licensed to provide any mental health or medical services.”
Prosecutors said Lee-Edwards had been seeing patients since 2013, billing himself as having worked “extensively with family members and victims of 9/11,” although it was unclear if he actually did.
Lee-Edwards’ attorney Matthew Blum said there is no evidence he ever harmed anyone.
“They’re alleging he was some sort of doctor who was operating on people,” Blum said. “They’re turning this guy into a monster. He was really just trying to help some people in his community.”
Investigators said Lee-Edwards came to the attention of law enforcement after a patient became suspicious of his unorthodox bedside manner, talking about other patients, bragging he graduated high school at age 13 and saying he attended law school.