Brooklyn Heights

LA man allegedly posed as Brooklyn doctor and stole $30k+ from patients

September 26, 2019 Noah Goldberg
Brooklyn Supreme Court. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese

A Los Angeles man posed as a neuropsychologist in Brooklyn for years and treated children and adults throughout the borough, scamming the patients out of at least $30,000, according to Brooklyn prosecutors.

Glenn Payne — who allegedly insisted that patients call him “Dr. Payne” — had three Brooklyn offices where he treated patients between 2012 and 2018, even though he is not licensed to practice medicine or psychology in New York State, according to prosecutors. Payne “touted fraudulent credentials,” according to Assistant District Attorney Deidre Moskowitz, including a PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Payne also claimed to have affiliations with Kings County Medical Center and SUNY Downstate Hospital, according to the DA.

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“It is unbelievable that someone would put patients, including children, at risk by pretending to be qualified to diagnose and treat them,” said District Attorney Eric Gonzalez in a statement. “The alleged conduct in this case is truly outrageous and potentially endangered vulnerable people.”

Payne did not accept insurance and preferred cash payments, charging patients between $60 and $250 for 45 minute sessions, prosecutors said.

He worked out of three different Brooklyn offices including two in Brooklyn Heights and one in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, according to the DA. Payne’s girlfriend, Vernette Tobierre, who allegedly ran his office, was also charged.

Payne shut down his Brooklyn offices in April 2017, after catching wind of an investigation into his practice, according to prosecutors. The 59-year-old Los Angeles native fled back to his hometown where he allegedly continued to illegally practice neuropsychology.

“He used an alias. It is believed he was again practicing neuropsychology without a license,” said Moskowitz in an arraignment before Supreme Court Justice Miriam Cyrulnik.


The top count on Payne’s indictment is grand larceny in the third degree, which carries a maximum prison sentence of seven years. Payne was ordered held on $50,000 cash bail.

Payne’s defense attorney, Michael Chessa, said his client, who appeared frail and thin at his arraignment Thursday, had just been released from the hospital and had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure as well as glaucoma.


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