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How a Florida woman was duped by "Dr. Love"

Posted at 5:08 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 17:21:49-05
A woman in West Palm Beach says she was duped into thinking the 18-year-old man who called himself "Dr. Love" was an actual medical professional. 
 
Malachi Love-Robinson was charged with fraud and grant theft Tuesday night for practicing medicine without a license, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.
The patient he tried to treat says she found contact information on Dr. Love's website, but admits she didn't do her research.
 
"I was in pain and I would call him and he said I have just the right pills for you," Anita Morrison told a Scripps TV station in Florida.
 
Love-Robinson later told ABC News that "just because someone has a title 'doctor' in front of their name does not necessarily imply M.D."
 
Which is true, and it's why medical professionals in Florida say patients need to do their homework before seeing a doctor.
 
"Most people ask where you were trained, where you went to school, where you did your residency program?" says Dr. Joseph Ciaramonte of Brandon Health Management to ABC Action News. "Somebody that's 18 years old and is not Doogie Howser but has a medical practice? Something's wrong," adds the longtime Tampa Bay Area internal medicine physician.
 
You can also go to the database of the Florida Department of Health and search for a doctor's name to make sure their license and credentials listed online are accurate.
 
That's what Steven Harper did before seeing Dr. Ciaramonte of Brandon.
 
"I looked him up, I looked his license up. Sort of stalked him, made sure he was, you know, all right," says Harper. "There's so many different websites that you can look up a doctors last name, first name where they went to school where they got their degree from," he adds.
 
Officials say a complaint prompted the Palm Beach Narcotics Task Force and the Florida Department of Health to start an investigation into the suspect, 18-year-old Love-Robinson, who was also investigated and cited by the Department of Health for practicing medicine without a license in October 2015.
 
PBSO's investigation revealed that Love-Robinson had opened a medical office at 4700 N. Congress Ave., Suite 303, in West Palm Beach and was presenting himself as a medical doctor.
 
To an outsider the alleged practice appears legit. According to HealthGrades.com, a site where patients can find local doctors, Love-Robinson's profile says he specializes in naturopathy, psychology, and mental health. It also says he's 25. 
 
Love-Robinson was served a notice to cease and desist and several other citations by the Department of Health.