SACRAMENTO – On March 15, 2018, investigators from the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ (DCA) Division of Investigation (DOI) arrested Lee Marie Brown, of Carmichael, on three felony charges including grand theft, embezzlement by a trustee, and embezzlement or theft from an elder or dependent adult.
Brown was investigated after DCA’s Board of Behavioral Sciences learned that she was acting as a therapist and working with vulnerable clients, including the elderly. Investigators with DOI’s Investigation and Enforcement Unit (IEU) learned that Brown was also allegedly advertising as a “psychotherapist” and a “MFCC” (marriage, family, and child counselor). Brown, formerly a marriage and family therapist intern, has not held any professional license since 2001.
“There is rarely a spotlight on the investigative work and consumer protection that DCA investigators provide for the citizens of California, yet they work daily to investigate complaints and leads regarding criminal behavior,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.
In 2013, the board issued a $5,000 citation and Order of Abatement to Brown. She was ordered to cease and desist from providing psychotherapeutic services without a license.
Following the Order of Abatement, Brown allegedly continued to provide therapy services to multiple individuals. She also became the trustee of a special needs trust account whose beneficiaries were dependent adults. Investigators served multiple search warrants and found that Brown had allegedly used thousands of dollars in funds from the trust to make personal purchases and billed the trust thousands of dollars for therapy services that she was not licensed to provide.
Brown was arraigned on March 19, 2018. She is scheduled to be back in court on May 22, 2018.