Psych Crime Reporter

May 31, 2010

Psychologist Krishna Duangpatra quits over jail affair with prison inmatet

Filed under: prison psychologist — Psych Crime Reporter @ 5:57 pm
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A PRISON psychologist has given up her career for love after becoming the latest from her profession to fall for a convicted felon.

Authorities became concerned at the apparent attraction between the 41-year-old offender – who is serving 28 years’ jail for robbery, conspiracy and perjury – and Krishna Duangpatra during their counselling sessions at Wolston Correctional Centre.

Ms Duangpatra has resigned from her job at Wolston and withdrawn her registration as a psychologist to avoid disciplinary action by the Psychologists Board of Queensland.

She is now employed as a counsellor with youth services charity Boystown, and is unable to even visit her love in prison because of her detailed knowledge of the jail.

A Corrective Services spokesman said the pair could correspond through letters which would be screened, as a matter of routine, by the prison.

The convict,  whose criminal history dates back to 1984, is not due for release until May 8, 2018.

A love letter from another female psychologist was found in the convict’s cell at another correctional centre in 1997. At the time, he was moved to another prison and the psychologist resigned.

Prison sources said the prisoner was flagged within Wolston to be watched with women staff members because of his history.

“This inmate is highly manipulative and develops a somewhat false charm that these psychologists, of all people, fall for,” said the source.

The Corrective Services spokesman said all allegations of inappropriate relationships were immediately referred to the Ethical Standards Branch for investigation.

“(That) may result in dismissal or other disciplinary measures,” he said.

“All staff are bound by a code of conduct and are expected to maintain professional standards.”


May 27, 2010

State revokes license of mental health counselor Cynthia J. Berry for using position for financial gain from client

Filed under: mental health,mental health counselor,Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 3:28 am
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On May 14, 2010, the Washington State Department of Health (DoH) revoked the credential of registered counselor Cynthia  J. Berry for unprofessional conduct based on a therapist-client boundary violation.

The DoH’s document states that in 2008, Berry was a case manager for a University of Washington program which provides outreach services to at-risk female clients who suffer from mental illness and have a history of substance abuse.  As a case manager, Berry was trained in counselor-client boundaries and the “power differential” between the client and counselor.  She knew that at no time was she permitted to accept money from clients for any reason.

In spring 2008, Berry was a case manager for a client on Social Security Disability with a history of homelessness, drug addiction and hospitalization for mental illness—all issues that Berry was aware of.  The client confided in Berry that one of her goals was to acquire reliable transportation for herself and her child and that she was to be receiving a large retroactive payment from Social Security, which she would use to buy it.

Shortly after receiving this information, Berry purported to transfer ownership of a car owned by her to a third party acquaintance and then told the client that she knew of a dependable car which the third party acquaintance was selling.  Berry did not inform the client of her involvement in the transaction or that the title and warranty were still actually in her name.

The client, relying on Berry’s advice, purchased the car using money orders “because she felt pressure to complete the transaction.”

The first time the client drove the car, it broke down.  It continued to break down and eventually was rendered inoperable.  Berry’s mechanic refused to work on it anymore.  The title to the vehicle was never transferred to the client.

Berry told the client not to tell anyone at her place of employment about the transaction.  However, after several months, she reported it and Berry was terminated.

The DoH concluded that Berry “used her status as a counselor to gain the trust of a client with a history of mental illness and substance abuse [and] used information gained from the client to set up a financial transaction for her own benefit.  Her client suffered financially and emotionally destabilized as a result….”

Source: Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Final Order in the Matter of Cynthia J. Berry, Credential No. RC00051466, Master Case No. M2008-118534, State of Washington Department of Health Adjudicative Service Unit, filed May 14, 2010.

State revokes mental health counselor Andrew B. Phillips’ license for sex with teen client

On May 6, 2010, the Washington Department of Health (DoH) revoked the credential of registered counselor Andrew Phillips for unprofessional conduct.

The DoH’s charges against Phillips (which were issued in April 2010) state that between July and August 2009, Phillips, who was then employed at at Community Counseling Institute of Tacoma, provided drug and alcohol counseling to a 17-year-old female client.   Between approximately October 2009 and November 2009, the client was placed with Phillips and his wife in the course of a dependency action.  Between these latter dates, Phillips is alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct with the teenager, including but not limited to hugging and kissing the client, fondling client’s breasts, sexual intercourse and mutual oral sex.

Phillips was given the opportunity to respond to the charges in a DoH hearing but affirmatively waived his opportunity for a hearing in the matter.

Source: Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Final Order (Waiver of Hearing) in the Matter of Andrew B. Phillips, Credential No. RC 60010154, Case No. M2010-314, State of Washington Department of Health, filed May 6, 2010 and Vernal Coleman, “Tacoma Drug Counselor Accused of Having Sex With 17-Year-Old Former Patient,” Tacoma Weekly, April 21, 2010.

May 26, 2010

South African psychologist jailed for five year for fraud

Filed under: crime and fraud,psychologist,Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 5:27 pm
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A 46-year-old clinical psychologist was jailed for five years on Tuesday for fraudulently obtaining short-term finance to renovate a house in Constantia.

Bongiwe Victoria Jagne’s scheme to obtain loans from the bridging-financing company, Capcon, was “calculatedly designed, and well-planned”, ruled Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court Magistrate Amrith Chabillal.

Jagne forged a letter, purporting to be from attorneys in the United Kingdom, falsely stating that UK90,000 was due to her from the sale of property in the UK.

She used this letter as security to persuade attorney Arno Schipper, a director of Capcon, to advance her loans totalling R720,000.

She was found guilty on five counts of fraud.

In mitigation of sentence, Jagne said she was a clinical psychologist with a practice in the UK, earning a salary of R22,500 a month, and that her husband was a research scientist attached to Oxford University, earning a salary of R38,000 a month.

This prompted Chabillal to ask how Jagne had managed to obtain free legal aid representation, which was intended for the very poor.

Chabillal instructed legal aid attorney Hailey Lawrence, who represented Jagne, to scrutinise her application for legal aid, and to “take the matter further” if the application contained false information.

Chabillal told Jagne: “You stand before this court, taking advantage of a legal aid system that is intended for the poor, who cannot afford privately-funded legal representation.”

He added: “It can never be said that you are a person in need.”

Chabillal said Jagne and her husband’s combined income was “way beyond” what the average couple needed to live comfortably.

He said that although able to, Jagne had made no effort to repay the fraudulent loans, which had impacted heavily on Schipper financially.

Jagne had offered in court to repay the R720,000 in monthly instalments of R20,000, as an indication of her remorse.

However, according to Schipper, her previous offers to repay the money had not materialised.

Schipper told the court: “I take her offer of R20,000 a month with a pinch of salt.”

Jagne was sentenced to eight years in prison, three years of which were conditionally suspended for five years.

Source: “Clinical psychologist jailed for fraud,”, May 25, 2010.

Minnesota psychologist Terry Zuehlke suspended for engaging in sexual activity with former patient

The Minnesota Board of Psychology has disciplined Terry Zuehlke, a Golden Valley psychologist, for having a sexual relationship with a former patient.

The board suspended his license indefinitely, it said in a disciplinary action released Tuesday.

The board said that Zuehlke, who was executive director of Pathways Psychological Services in Golden Valley, treated a patient between 2001 and 2004 for individual and couples counseling. Within several months of ending their professional relationship, Zuehlke and his client saw each other socially, then they engaged in sexual activity, the board said.

Zuehlke violated state statute and board rules by having a sexual relationship with a patient within two years of terminating a professional one, the board said. It suspended his license for 21 months. To have his license reinstated, Zuehlke must undergo a psychological evaluation, agree to treatment if recommended, and take courses in professional protocols. He must also pay a fine of $2,500.

Source: “Golden Valley psychologist is disciplined by state board,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, May 25, 2010.

Psychologist jailed for husband’s murder in ’04 now in solitary on suspicion of plotting prison break

Convicted murderer Michelle Theer has been placed in an isolation cell while officials investigate whether she was plotting a prison break.

Theer, a former Fayetteville psychologist, has been in prison since December 2004, when she and her lover, former Army Staff Sgt. John Diamond, were convicted of murdering Theer’s husband.

Theer has been held in a single cell since April, when prison officials discovered that she tried to mail a map of the prison and other documents to someone on the outside, said Annie Harvey, warden of the N.C. Correctional Institution for Women in Raleigh.

“We take anything that could cause someone to escape very seriously,” Harvey said. “The best defense is to take everything seriously on the front end.”

Harvey declined to provide details about the map or the other documents that she said Theer appears to have been trying to mail.

She said prison officials regularly screen inmate mail that appears suspicious. The smell or size of a package could trigger a closer examination, Harvey said.

She said Theer, who is 41, initially was placed in administrative segregation. Her status was changed to disciplinary segregation when prison officials determined that enough evidence exists to investigate her case further.

Theer has pleaded not guilty, Harvey said.

If Theer is found to have been plotting an escape, Harvey said, the punishment would likely be maximum-custody confinement and a loss of privileges.

Theer’s husband, Air Force Capt. Marty Theer, was shot to death in December 2000 on a stairway outside Michelle Theer’s second-floor office on Raeford Road.

Prosecutors said Theer lured her husband to the stairwell so Diamond could ambush him.

Diamond was sentenced to life in prison in a military trial in 2001.

Michelle Theer was indicted in May 2002 and went on the run. She hid in south Florida, where she had plastic surgery done to her face, lived under an assumed name and planned to change her identity several times to start a new life. U.S. marshals apprehended her in August 2002.

Source: Greg Barnes, “Michelle Theer in isolation, officials probe possible prison break,” Fayetteville Observer, May 18, 2010.

May 10, 2010

Former school psychologist sentenced to 174 months prison for molestations

Fifty-nine-year-old Craig Figley, a former psychologist for the Colville School District (Colville is located in the northeast corner of Washington state) was sentenced today to serve at least 14.5 years in prison for molesting an 11-year-old student and attempting to molest another.

Figley pleaded guilty in March 2010 to molesting the boys and admitted he’d “groomed” the victims to take advantage of them.

In court, Figley said “I have committed illegal and shameful acts.” Those illegal and shameful acts involve two underage boys.

Figley has a history of child molestation, including victims who were friends of his own son

Figley admitted repeatedly fondling the children while caring for them, buying them video games, and taking them out for dinner.

In addition to first-degree child molestation, Figley pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography after images of young boys were found on his school computer.

Figley was a member of a multidisciplinary team that helped coordinate law enforcement investigations of child abuse.

Following sentencing, his case will go before a state board that reviews the sentences of sex offenders, and that board could decide to keep him in prison for life, Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen said.

Source: “School counselor sentenced for molestation,” Spokesman Review, May 10, 2010.

Psychiatrist who prescribed “fatal” drug cocktail to patient inherited £1.2million from her estate, panel hears

Filed under: psychiatrist,Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 4:47 pm
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A panel of the General Medical Council (GMC), the UK’s medical governing body, heard today that psychiatrist Peter Rowan carried on a “blurred and secretive” relationship with a wealthy patient while he was employed at the private Priory Clinic.

The patient, a millionairess who Rowan treated for 16 years, died at age 66 following a fall in her home in 2003.  The panel heard that she was heavily medicated for years because Rowan prescribed a “hazardous” cocktail of drugs.

Rowan now faces a misconduct hearing before his governing body after an alleged catalogue of errors in the lead up to the pensioner’s death.

The hearing was told that Rowan inherited £1.2million from her estate and had received other financial gifts from the woman.

Though not being held responsible for causing her death, which was determined to be respiratory disease,  Rowan is reported as having prescribed a “dangerous” mixture of powerful drugs that put the patient at risk of falling, the GMC was told.

The patient first saw the private psychiatrist in 1987 and was given a “hazardous” mix of anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and sleeping tablets.  She was on four times the recommended daily dose of the tranquillizer Ativan, which could increase the risk of falls, said a GMC spokesperson.

Crucially, Rowan failed to inform her general practitioner or respiratory physician of the prescriptions.

“The bottom line is that these drugs were prescribed in degrees that were inappropriate when it came to dosage combinations,” the spokesperson said. “These prescribing practices were further aggravated because the dosages and their combinations are contra-indicatory to the patient’s respiratory condition, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”

Rowan also failed to keep accurate medical records, detailing the patient’s medication, doses or treatment plans, it is alleged.

He faces 10 detailed charges relating to his care of the patient.

The hearing continues.

Read more:

May 6, 2010

Rhode Island psychiatrist William Kyros ceases practice; complaints of “boundary violations” with patients dating back to early ’90s

In April 2010, the Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline issued an Agreement to Cease Practice on that psychiatrist William P. Kyros agreed to cease the practice of medicine in the state.

According to the document, the Board had received information concerning three “boundary violations” with women who were his patients.  The violations date from the early 1990s and most recently 2010.

The documents states that the Board learned of this information while investigating a complaint that occurred in April 2009 (does not indicate if the complaint regarded Kyros or another physician).

The Board also learned in its investigation that Kyros was working as an employee in a mental health practice that lacked proper licensure and organizational structure.  When the president of that mental health practice was informed concerning two of the boundary violations, he did not refer them to the Board but undertook other measures, such as tape recording patient sessions without patient consent in order to protect the patients and the practice.

Lastly, the document states that “the complaints to the Board implicate the provisions…for sexual contact between a doctor and patient.”

Source: Agreement to Cease Practice in the Matter of William P. Kyros, M.D., License Number MD 6880, State of Rhode Island Department of Health Board of Medical Licensure and Disipline, Case No. 08-250 and 09-252.

May 4, 2010

Texas psychiatrist Eli Anderson placed on 10 years probation, related to cocaine

Filed under: psychiatrist,Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 9:47 pm
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On April 9, 2010, the Texas Medical Board suspended psychiatrist Eli T. Anderson’s license for “inability to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety to patients because of illness; drunkenness; excessive use of drugs; narcotics, chemicals, or another substance; or as a result or any mental or physical condition.”

According to the Board’s order, Anderson was temporarily suspended in November 2008 based upon findings that he had started using cocaine in 2002, was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in 2007 and had abused cocaine as recently as November 2008.

The currently imposed suspension was stayed and Anderson was instead placed on ten years probation with terms and conditions which include abstinence from alcohol and controlled substances.

Source: Agreed Order in the Matter of the License of Eli T. Anderson, M.D., License No. E-6214, Before the Texas Medical Board, April 9, 2010.

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