Oakland County woman accused of posing as therapist, treating children with autism

therapist with child
Photo credit Getty Images - FILE

(WWJ) An Oakland County woman who allegedly impersonated a therapist, using false credentials to treat vulnerable children, is facing more than a dozen felony charges.

Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Thursday that 34-year-old Kimberly Casey Coden-Diskin has been bound over for trial following proceedings on Jan. 18 and Feb. 1 in Livingston County's 53rd District Court.

The AG's office says an investigation found Coden-Diskin had been posing as a board-certified therapist at the Oxford Recovery Center in Brighton, having falsified her credentials.

Coden-Diskin is charged with 16 counts of unauthorized practice of a health profession, four-year felonies with a $5,000 fine; and two counts of identity theft, five-year felonies with a $25,000 fine. In addition, she is charged with one count of witness intimidation for her alleged communications with a witness in the original case.

The Department of Attorney General alleges that Coden-Diskin in 2018 falsely represented herself as a Board-Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA) in order to get a job treating "highly vulnerable" children diagnosed with Autism and work with their parents.

At the Recovery Center, she performed services that required a license and certification that she did not have, the AG said.

"She used professional business cards, verbal statements, and written documents to pose as a licensed medical professional. She presented university degrees that she is alleged not to have earned and utilized the certification number of another state certified individual to conceal her lack of certification," according to the AG.

Coden-Diskin is also a convicted felon with two cases of identity theft and larceny from a building, records show.

The Attorney General wants to remind employers to take the time to verify claimed licenses and certifications of job applicants — particularly when those positions involve sensitive work or contact with vulnerable populations. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs maintains a free public license verification website.

“Regrettably, employers can’t always rely upon what an applicant may represent to them.  In many cases, due diligence requires verification of legally necessary qualifications,” said Nessel, in a statement.  “When circumstances arise that someone misrepresents themselves as a medical professional, my office stands ready to intervene.”

Coden-Diskin's next court date, not yet set, will be in 44th Circuit Court on the witness intimidation charges.

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