FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. » The teenager accused of illegally posing as a doctor and cheating a patient is facing two new felony charges that today resulted in a nearly five-hour stay in Palm Beach County Jail.
Malachi Love-Robinson, 19, also will get yet another new attorney, now from the public defender’s office, to represent him on the 12 existing and two additional charges of grand theft, and writing a bad check.
The new counts concern allegations from May and October of last year, records show. Warrants for his arrest were issued today and he was taken into custody in the courtroom during a hearing regarding lawyer Leonard Feuer’s request to cut ties with him.
Records show Love-Robinson, who had been free on $18,000 bail, later posted another $8,000 in bail and was allowed to leave jail. He’s expected to appear in court for an Oct. 5 hearing with his new lawyer. For now, his trial remains set to start Nov. 7.
Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Krista Marx granted defense attorney Feuer’s request to get off the high-profile case, for reasons involving an apparent ethical conflict that were not made public.
Feuer, who had been working on the case for free since his hiring in late June, told the Sun Sentinel that his removal “had nothing to do with money.”
In a pleading filed last Tuesday, Feuer wrote that he called the Florida Bar Ethics Hotline, which advised he had no option other than halting his representation of Love-Robinson. Feuer indicated the issue came about through no fault of his own, and it became clear that there was an “incompatibility” with continuing to represent Love-Robinson and complying with the state’s Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys.
Two weeks ago, Feuer had won a delay in the scheduling of Love-Robinson’s trial, as the attorney was exploring a possible insanity defense.
Love-Robinson, who’s accused of donning a white lab coat and stethoscope and portraying himself as a doctor in a West Palm Beach clinic and on house calls, was ordered by a judge in March to undergo a mental health examination. He has been obtaining treatments since then.
Feuer asked for, and received, the judge’s approval to use $1,563 in public funds to obtain 1,563 pages of treatment records from St. Mary’s Medical Center.
Love-Robinson was arrested Feb. 16 and again on March 1 and charged with: two counts of practicing medicine without a license; two counts of practice of naturopathy without a license; three counts of forgery; two counts of grand theft from a person 65 or older; and three counts of fraudulent use of personal identification information.
These charges are punishable by up to 70 years in prison. The new charges are grand theft over $20,000, and obtaining property in return for a worthless check, draft or debit card, which combined are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Love-Robinson, of West Palm Beach, was first accused of masquerading as a doctor in January 2015. Then 17, he wore a doctor’s coat at St. Mary’s Medical Center and peeked in on at least one gynecological exam, according to a West Palm Beach police report.
Records show that last October he opened a clinic in Boynton Beach but closed it after he was issued a cease-and-desist order that same month from the Florida of Department of Health because he didn’t have a medical license.
State investigators then got a tip that Love-Robinson was again practicing medicine without a license from an office called The New Birth New Life Medical Center in West Palm Beach, according to an arrest report.
Love-Robinson was presenting himself as a licensed physician and had employees, but no one there was licensed to diagnose and treat patients, the report said. He was arrested in February after allegedly conducting a physical examination of a female undercover officer, who came to his office complaining of feeling sick.
Love-Robinson allegedly told the officer, with the Palm Beach Narcotics Task Force, that he was a “doctor of homeopathic medicine” and a health care practitioner specializing in all-natural treatments. He also said he had an “MD” on staff to prescribe antibiotics for other physical ailments, the arrest report said.
Among the second set of charges, Love-Robinson was accused of stealing personal checks from Anita Morrison, an 86-year-old West Palm Beach woman he visited several times concerning severe intestinal pain.
Officials say Love-Robinson tapped Morrison’s checking account to make $34,504 in payments for his personal auto loans and credit cards. He’s also accused of forging three checks totaling $2,794.
Because of Morrison’s “deteriorating” condition, her testimony has been preserved on video in case she is not well enough to take the witness stand.
Morrison has told investigators she found Love-Robinson last December during a search for doctors using natural therapies. During one house call, she said, Love-Robinson called for an ambulance when she became too sick.
Morrison told detectives Love-Robinson recommended against bringing her keys and purse to the hospital so she gave them to him and asked that he lock up her home. The woman said she later discovered her bank account was empty when she tried to complete a routine transaction, records show.
©2016 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)