PALM BEACH, Fla. – The young man who as a teen faked being a doctor, who swindled a “patient,” who once tried to forge his way into a Jaguar, and who was spared from serving decades in prison, is back in serious trouble.
Malachi Alexander Love-Robinson, who once called himself “Dr. Love,” faces new fraud allegations, arising just months after he walked free from prison. This time, despite warnings from judges to stay legit, the 23-year-old is in the spotlight over claims he ripped off an employer.
What makes him tick? He’s spoken of genuine dreams to be a physician and help others, yet wound up as an impostor unable to help himself. He repeatedly makes lofty plans, gets caught, says he’s sorry and promises to make amends, records show.
Through the years, he has blamed his fake doctor escapades on his youth.
“I 100% regret what I’ve done,” he told the Inside Edition television program in a 2018 prison interview. “And the reason being is that, because No. 1, I’ve messed my life up, you know, a great deal.”
Love-Robinson quickly hung up his cellphone when the South Florida Sun Sentinel recently contacted him about his latest arrest. It’s early in the new prosecution, with Love-Robinson set to be arraigned Feb. 4 on third-degree felony charges of organized scheme to defraud and grand theft. The Lake Park man has been free on $2,000 bond since his Dec. 31 arrest.
So far, the Palm Beach County court file does not show if he has hired an attorney. He previously had a public defender after swearing he was too poor to afford to pay for counsel.
In his first run-in with authorities, Love-Robinson was once taken for psychiatric observation under the state’s Baker Act. He also has undergone at least one court-ordered mental health evaluation, records show.
One of his prior attorneys had explored a mental health defense, but that was abandoned. The possibility of psychological issues never came up again.
In previous public comments and in court, Love-Robinson has shown an awareness of the criminal allegations while appearing defensive.
Back in 2016, he pleaded with the media to “stop worrying about bashing someone.” He pointed out, “Accusations are merely accusations.”
Commenting on the national attention, he told a WBPF-TV25 reporter, “This story was broadcast everywhere, like I’m some insane maniac that’s just out here doing crazy things.”
‘I WAS A YOUNG KID’
It wasn’t just his attempt to pass himself off as a teenage physician. Before those charges were resolved, Love-Robinson was nabbed trying to fake his way into a $35,000 Jaguar in northern Virginia.
In 2017, he pleaded guilty to two fraud charges involving the use of his godmother’s name and Social Security number on a car loan application without permission.
The judge there imposed a 10-year prison term, but immediately suspended nine years of the sentence. He advised the then-20-year-old Love-Robinson to have “good behavior” because any subsequent arrests could land him back in custody for a much longer period.
In 2018, Love-Robinson took a plea deal for a 3½-year prison term to resolve 14 charges in the fake doctor masquerade.
This, too, was a substantial break as he avoided the possibility of a 90-year sentence. He admitted guilt on three counts: practicing medicine without a license, practicing naturopathy without a license, and grand theft.
And he agreed to repay about $80,000 to his victims, including a bank that held an account for an 86-year-old “patient” — though court records show he still owes nearly all of it.
“I was a young kid that got overly ambitious and just said to hell with the rules and regulations,” Love-Robinson explained, in the broadcast prison interview. He said he always had “a dream” to be a doctor, and still had that desire.
A state Department of Corrections website shows he walked free in late September 2019. Within months he was employed on a contract basis by United States of Freight, a shipping company based in Delray Beach, according to an arrest report.
Love-Robinson returned to his old habits.
NEW FRAUD CHARGES
Company owner Daniel O’Sullivan called the cops last March with allegations that Love-Robinson stole from the business, which operates as a broker connecting customers or shippers with transport companies.
The way it works, a customer pays a fee to United States of Freight, which in turns pays a carrier to deliver the goods. O’Sullivan’s company keeps a broker compensation each time.
Love-Robinson, using the name “Alex Robinson,” was paid commissions for handling these transactions between the company and its customers.
But while working on orders for five customers between Jan. 8 and Feb. 4, 2020, Love-Robinson had these clients pay him a total of $10,130 directly instead of his employer as required, the arrest report shows.
He had the money routed to him in two ways. Four customers paid him through PayPal or Venmo, so the funds went to his personal checking account, police say.
One customer paid $2,675 to a business called National Logistics Division LLC, which was linked to Love-Robinson’s name and home address, police learned. Love-Robinson created the company two months after his release from prison, state records show. It is now listed as inactive.
Online records also show Love-Robinson registered his new company with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which regulates trucking and bus firms.
While stealing from United States of Freight, Love-Robinson double-dipped and pocketed an unspecified amount in commissions, the police report said.
Before coming to the authorities, O’Sullivan tried to handle the matter privately. He showed an investigator several text messages from an apologetic Love-Robinson, including a promise to return the money and “make it right.”
“I don’t want to go to jail,” Love-Robinson wrote in one text, followed up with claims he had paid back the money. But his boss said he never got any refunds.
Police decided in November to file charges, but Love-Robinson wasn’t arrested until the last day of the year. He spent nearly 11 hours at Palm Beach County Jail, before posting the bond.
Reached on his cellphone, O’Sullivan said, “I don’t have any comment.”
PATTERN OF REOFFENDING
The new criminal case will explore why Love-Robinson apparently was deep into another con less than four months after regaining his freedom. What’s causing this behavior? Can he be reformed to finally stop the scheming?
An expert in criminal behavior says such a pattern of lawbreaking could be linked to a personality disorder called psychopathy.
Joseph A. Schwartz, an associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at Florida State University, said people with this condition are typically “highly manipulative” and “constantly put their own needs and desires before anyone else’s” as they try to benefit themselves.
Schwartz says such kinds of people usually try to justify their behavior.
“When someone who displays greater levels of psychopathy is ultimately caught, they may feign remorse, but they don’t genuinely feel guilty for their actions, increasing the likelihood they will reoffend in the future,” said Schwartz, who studies why criminals behave the way they do.
In each of Love-Robinson’s previous cases, authorities had a fairly easy time tracing his swindles by pouring over bank accounts and uncovering fraudulent diplomas.
Love-Robinson’s ill-fated attempt to get behind the wheel of a Jaguar failed miserably.
Employees at the Stafford County, Va., dealership quickly became suspicious of Love-Robinson, who, after submitting a credit application, bragged about recently buying two iPads.
They called deputies, who later wrote in a news release: “They Googled his name and found that a subject with the same name had been arrested numerous times on fraud type charges in the State of Florida.”