STAFFORD, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Deputies in Stafford County have charged Sharonda Avery with multiple counts related to posing as a psychologist, who treated children in some cases, in a scam they say spanned at least three years. The story was first reported by Fredericksburg.com.
Deputies say Avery called herself a doctor and they were tipped off when a school psychologist in Spotsylvania County flagged an evaluation Avery did on a child and reported it to investigators.
On Thursday, deputies announced Avery is currently behind bars at the Rappahannock Regional Jail where she is being held without bond.
On a Linkedin page that appears to be hers, Avery says she has multiple degrees including a Ph.D. and PsyD, yet deputies say she is not a doctor of any kind and has no such degrees.
FOX 5 went to two addresses listed for Avery, including one associated with her business. People who lived at each home said they did not know Avery, yet one of the homes is still owned by a relative, according to property records.
Quintus McDonald is a former NFL player and once interviewed Avery for a YouTube video about childhood brain injuries at the suggestion of a doctor who used to work with her.
McDonald told FOX 5 he had no idea she was claiming a license she does not have.
"It’s very disappointing and I would absolutely venture to say that she’s not the first and she probably won’t be the last and there are probably several others out there," said McDonald.
Fredericksburg.com reports one of the charges carries a possible sentence of 20 years.
Anyone who may be a victim of Avery is asked to call the Stafford County Sheriff's Office.