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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Man Charged In Manhattan Federal Court For Fraudulently Posing As Medical Professional

Audrey Strauss, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Keith J. Byrne,  Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (“DSS”), New York Field Office, announced today the unsealing of a complaint charging RODNEY ROBINSON, a/k/a “Alim Shariff,” with forgery and false use of a passport, false statements, and aggravated identity theft in connection with his years-long effort to fraudulently pose as a medical professional and Naval Reserve Officer.  ROBINSON was arrested this morning in New York, New York, and will be presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn later today. 

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “As alleged, Rodney Robinson abused the trust of his employers, colleagues, and clients by claiming to be someone he is not.  He has finally been caught in his web of lies.”

DSS Special Agent-in-Charge Keith J. Byrne said:  “The Diplomatic Security Service is firmly committed to working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York to investigate allegations of crimes related to passport fraud and identity theft.  We are very pleased to have apprehended Mr. Robinson to face the charges levied against him.”

According to the allegations in the Complaint:[1]

ROBINSON spent years posing as “Dr. Alim Shariff” – a “board certified behavior analyst,” “licensed psychological examiner,” and Naval Reserve Officer.  Using the Shariff identity, ROBINSON gained employment at multiple New York City area social service and rehabilitation providers.  In applying for these positions of trust, ROBINSON used fake identification documents, claimed stolen identification information, and made false statements to federal agencies.           

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ROBINSON, 55, of New York, New York, is charged with two counts of forgery and false use of a passport, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, one count of false statements, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and three counts of aggravated identity theft, each of which carries a mandatory consecutive term of two years in prison. 

The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by a judge.

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the Diplomatic Security Service.

If you believe you were a victim of this crime, including a victim entitled to restitution, and you wish to provide information to law enforcement and/or receive notice of future developments in the case or additional information, please contact Wendy Olsen-Clancy, the Victim Witness Coordinator at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, at (866) 874-8900, or  For additional information, go to:

This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Ashley C. Nicolas is in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint, and the description of the Complaint set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Consumer Protection
Identity Theft
James Margolin, Nicholas Biase (212) 637-2600
Press Release Number: 
Updated February 25, 2021