Accused fake teen doc fires lawyer; has three days to find a new one

Malachi Love-Robinson, a West Palm Beach teen accused of practicing medicine without a license, has until Thursday to hire a new lawyer after a judge on Monday said she has no intentions of delaying his trial set for next month.

Malachi Love-Robinson leaves court after a hearing Wednesday morning, April 20, 2016. The teen is accused of posing as a doctor, operating New Birth New Life Medical Center in West Palm Beach. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)
Malachi Love-Robinson leaves court after a hearing in April. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

“Throw a stone, you’ll hit 10 lawyers,” Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Krista Marx told Love-Robinson while approving his request to fire his current lawyer but rejecting his request for 30 days to hire a new one.

Attorney Craig Lawson, who was in court, said Love-Robinson has contacted him about representing him on various charges, including practicing medicine and naturopathy without a license, forgery and identity theft. He is also accused of stealing $2,800 in checks from an elderly woman’s home.

“If he comes up with the money, I’ll represent him,” Lawson said. He said he has no worries about preparing for a July 18 trial date. “I’m a former prosecutor. I can be ready for trial in a heartbeat,” he said.

Marx ordered Love-Robinson to return to court Thursday with a new lawyer in tow.

Love-Robinson, 19, made national headlines when he was arrested in February after a narcotics task force raided his West Palm Beach alternative medicine practice. Favoring white lab coats, adorned with a stethoscope, investigators said he visited banks, walked hospital hallways and treated patients, pretending to  be a doctor.

He has disputed the allegations, claiming he never masqueraded as a medical doctor. He said he used the title “doctor” because he earned a doctoral degree from Universal Life Church Seminary, an online institution, according to documents released by the Florida Department of Health. According to the seminary’s website, anyone can buy a doctorate in divinity for $29.95, the same price as bachelor’s or a master’s of divinity degree.

Assistant State Attorney Michael Rachel in April offered Love-Robinson a plea deal that would have sent him to prison for three years. The deal, Rachel said, is still on the table. “It’s up to him,” he said.

Lawson said Love-Robinson has indicated he plans to go to trial.

In addition to criminal charges, Grieco Mazda of Delray Beach in April got a $5,300 judgment against him. According to court records, he gave the dealership an $1,800 check for a down payment on a $27,000 Mazda. The check was rejected by a bank for insufficient funds.


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