Martin & Kent, L.L.C. Martin & Kent, L.L.C.

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Man convicted for impersonating a psychologist

An Illinois man has been convicted on several criminal counts related to a psychology practice. In October 2015, the man pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for impersonating a psychologist. He was also charged and convicted for aggravated identity theft, furnishing false information to the Drug Enforcement Administration, wire fraud and distributing a controlled substance.

Federal prosecutors say that the man violated Illinois law by assuming the identity of an actual Illinois physician. From September 2015 to February 2016, the man allegedly wrote 71 drug prescriptions to 44 different people, though he had no license to practice psychology. One of the man's patients was 9 years old. Illinois is one of a few states that allow psychologists to prescribe medication.

Reporters for ABC News interviewed several of the accused man's ex-patients who were upset when they found out that he was not a licensed psychologist or therapist. The state issued a cease and desist order in May 2014, and the man was taken into custody at his office. In addition to his other criminal charges, the man was charged with 23 licensing act violations. At his sentencing hearing on Feb. 8, he could be sentenced to up to 166 years in prison.

People who have been handed similar charges may dispute the evidence that is being used to prosecute them. A criminal defense attorney may be able to look for mistakes in the investigation that could lead to the suppression of key pieces of evidence. If several charges are dismissed for lack of evidence, an attorney may be able to negotiate for a significantly shorter sentence.

Source: ABC Chicago, "Man guilty of impersonating psychologist, medicating a child," Jason Knowles and Ann Pistone, Nov. 4, 2016

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