Memphis police: serial scam artist posed as doctor, psychologist - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police: serial scam artist posed as doctor, psychologist

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Rodney Robinson, photo courtesy Shelby County Jail. Rodney Robinson, photo courtesy Shelby County Jail.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) – He's accused of pretending to be an entrepreneur, psychologist and even a doctor. Police say he's a master of disguise and many people have fallen victim to his scams.

But both police and his victims say he doesn't seem like a criminal.

"Well dressed, clothes like he was straight from Wall Street, I promise you," said Lougenia Nesbitt, the mother of one of his victims.

"He seems to be a well put together, mild mannered individual," said Lt. Dennis Toll, of the Memphis Police Department.

Rodney Robinson is a convicted trickster, check forger and impersonator. Investigators say over the years he has claimed to be a psychologist, lead a fleet of CPR instructors and, just recently, an anesthesiologist.

He even rented space above a Whitehaven tax business for his phony medical practice.

The owner of the tax business where Robinson said he told them he was an anesthesiologist. He had an office, but they never saw any patients going in.

Veronica VanBuren, 19, met Robinson while she and her sister were shopping at Walmart.

"He said ‘I got a good job for you.' I was out of a job, so I was looking for anything," VanBuren said.

VanBuren's mother Lougenia Nesbitt went with her daughter to Robinson's office and said he told them he was an anesthesiologist.

But Nesbitt said she had other reasons for feeling at ease.

"He knew people I knew," she said. "He went to school with people I went to school with."

Nesbitt's daughter accepted the job. She did filing for Robinson and helped him set up the office.

"It looked like he really had patients," said VanBuren, who even saw what appeared to be medical records in the office.

"It was forms, like a patient's name, what doctor they saw, what medicine they took, what therapist they saw."

But VanBuren said she never saw any patients. However, she did see several nurses come in for interviews.

She said two months passed before she ever got paid and when Robinson did cut her checks - they were fakes.

A check written to an office supply company, and now held by police as evidence, was signed by Dr. Rodney Robinson for a business called Unique Placements and Support services. The address on the check is the same address as his Whitehaven medical office.

Investigators say the check was forged.

The owners of the tax business said the checks Robinson wrote for rent weren't any good wither.

VanBuren and her mother eventually went to police.

"They opened up this book and there his picture was," Nesbitt said.

"Generally, he portrays himself as something he doesn't have the credentials to back up," said Lt. Dennis Toll.

A man who said he worked with Robinson several years ago claims Robinson did contract work for something called job coaching. He said Robinson claimed to be a licensed psychologist and that Robinson did a very good job. However, it was all a fraud.

Toll, who works with the MPD's economic crimes bureau, said Robinson has served time for his schemes. He was also indicted several years ago for aggravated identity theft, but the federal indictment is sealed. Rodney Robinson's mother said she is aware of her son's charades.

"Something wrong with his head," she said. "That's the only reason I can think of. He don't never make no money out of it."

Unfortunately, neither do the people who end up working for him.

Robinson, who's being held on $20,000 bond, declined Action News 5's request for an interview.

As for the medical records his secretary said she saw in his office, police believe those too were fakes.

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