A Virginia woman was accused of posing as a psychologist for at least three years, treating hundreds of patients which mostly comprised of children.
Sharonda L. Avery, 42, was indicted this month on 13 charges, including obtaining money by false pretenses, two counts of passing a forged document, perjury and three counts of practicing psychology without a license. Families reportedly paid Avery thousands of dollars for her services, with her victims being treated by her for anywhere from three months to two years, according to The Free-Lance Star.
Authorities asserted that some of the child patients received medication from legitimate doctors based on Avery’s diagnoses. Avery is facing perjury charges for testifying in Stafford Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in 2017 while allegedly posing as a licensed doctor.
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Further, WTTG reported that Avery had interviewed ex-NFL linebacker Quintus McDonald about childhood brain injuries for a YouTube video while presenting herself as a doctor.
Authorities zeroed in on Avery after a school psychologist in Spotsylvania County reportedly flagged an evaluation Avery conducted on a child and alerted it to authorities.
Officials told WTVR that they received “numerous complaints” in October 2018 regarding whether Avery was a licensed psychologist from victims who claimed they or their children were misdiagnosed by her.
Amanda Vicinanzo, with the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, told the news outlet that Avery had been employed as a psychologist at a Stafford County medical practice since 2012.
“Avery has treated hundreds of children and adults. She was fired from the medical practice, which is no longer in business,” Vicinanzo revealed.
While Avery allegedly claimed she had two doctorate degrees and a master’s degree, police claimed she never graduated from college and isn’t a licensed psychologist in Virginia.
As of Thursday, Avery remains behind bars without bond.
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[Featured image: Sharonda Avery/Stafford County Sheriff’s Office]