Man Arrested for Posing As Doctor, Treated Patients in Basement

NEW YORK (AP) -

More than 100 patients were duped by a “dangerous scam artist” who posed as a clinical psychologist, met with patients in his basement and prescribed antidepressants, prosecutors said Friday in announcing his arrest.

Donald Lee-Edwards, 43, pleaded not guilty Thursday. Prosecutors say the former flight attendant would meet patients for about two hours and in some cases called pharmacies to fill prescriptions, avoiding the need for a state-issued prescription pad.

The defense attorney said Lee-Edwards “was really just trying to help some people in his community.”

Detectives began investigating in June after patients said he discussed other clients and boasted about graduating high school when he was 13 years old and also attending law school.