A would-be investor in Palm Beach, Florida, remains unsure of the truth surrounding Malachi Love-Robinson after the 18-year-old was arrested for practicing medicine without a license.
Perseus Wells says he invested $10,000 to open a clinic with Love-Robinson, who “told me he was a natural doctor.”
Speaking with Dr. Drew Pinski on HLN’s “Dr. Drew” Thursday night, Wells said he “invested in the idea of a practice,” and that he was seeking to hire physicians at the clinic. Wells said Love-Robinson provided transcripts and documents from Arizona State University.
Sheriff’s deputies in West Palm Beach arrested Love-Robinson on Tuesday and accused him of practicing medicine without a license. Police say he posed as a medical doctor and treated patients.
He posted bail on Wednesday, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
Love-Robinson was the head of his own practice, according to his website, but “just because someone has a title ‘doctor’ in front of their name does not necessarily imply M.D.,” the teen said in an interview that aired Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“I’m not portraying [myself] as an M.D. I never said I’ve gone to school to be an M.D.,” he told ABC. He said he has a Ph.D. but wouldn’t say what field it was in.
He said his training involved shadowing many doctors.
The sheriff’s narcotics unit, along with the Florida Department of Health, carried out an operation in which an undercover officer visited Love-Robinson’s office, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.
Love-Robinson examined the officer and provided medical advice, said the statement, which detailed a nearly two-week investigation that culminated in Tuesday’s arrest.
As police led Love-Robinson out of his office in handcuffs, he said, “I’m hurt because of the accusations and allegations. But like I said, this is not the first time where I’ve been accused and I will pursue this. And when I do, you guys will know,” according to CNN affiliate WPBF.
The website for Love-Robinson’s practice lists the teen as its president, CEO and founder. It refers to Love-Robinson as “Dr.” and places abbreviations after his name, including Ph.D. and HHP-C, which is used for those involved in home health and personal care. A Ph.D. is generally not a medical degree.
Love-Robinson already had run into trouble with the Florida Department of Health, which filed a cease-and-desist notice in October accusing him of practicing medicine without a license, department spokesman Brad Dalton told CNN.
Florida does not issue licenses for naturopathic practitioners, as it does for doctors, Dalton said.
Naturopathy encompasses a wide array of “natural” alternatives to conventional medicine.
Love-Robinson described himself as a “well rounded proffessional” (sic), according to his profile on HealthGrades.com, which has been removed since his arrest. The listing states that he is 25 years old.
“I utilize physiological, psychological, and mechanical methods, such as air, water, light, heat, earth (to treat patients),” the profile said.
HealthGrades.com says the information was supplied by — or on behalf of — the provider.
A Facebook event shows a January 16 “grand opening celebration” for the New Birth New Life Medical Center, which is at the same address where the arrest was made Tuesday.
New Birth New Life’s website indicates at least two other people worked at the office.