Kenneth Wilcox, an American operating a psychology clinic in Phnom Penh, is wanted in the US for fleeing across the border to avoid punishment on charges of grand theft, US court records show.
According to a criminal complaint filed on Oct 12 in US District Court in Florida, Mr Wilcox allegedly traveled across US state lines to avoid prosecution for “grand theft and aggravated fleeing and eluding,” which is a felony under the laws of Florida.
In an affidavit attached to the complaint, Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Ronald Stewart asserted that information from the US State Department “shows Kenneth D Wilcox is currently living in Cambodia and may be incarcerated for unrelated charges in Cambodia.”
Mr Wilcox, who provides psychological counseling and clinical services for children and adults through THOR Health Services in Phnom Penh, declined to comment yesterday on the documents.
“I won’t talk about it when I don’t know what charge the document refers to,” said Mr Wilcox, whose middle name is Drew, adding that his only previous arrest was for driving while intoxicated.
Mr Wilcox claimed yesterday to hold a doctorate in psychology from Nova Southeastern University in Florida and said: “If there is some sort of record I’m not aware of, then it would have nothing to do with my practice.”
In the past, Mr Wilcox has done little to avoid publicity: appearing as an expert in the documentary “Total Brokenness” about child rape, writing for the Southeast Asia Globe and announcing several international psychological conferences.
A conference that was to be held next month was canceled recently due to funding constraints, according to Mr Wilcox.
Mary Olsen, the filmmaker behind “Total Brokenness,” said yesterday Mr Wilcox had told her he planned to finance the conference with “$500,000 of his own money.”
Child psychologist Angela Simcox, who is based in Phnom Penh, said Mr Wilcox’s credentials have been brought into question.
She added that she had been warned by an official at US Embassy to “stay away” from Mr Wilcox.
Under Cambodian law, practicing psychologists have no obligation to be register or prove that they are credentialed professionals. Ms Simcox said yesterday that this lack of regulation could place patients in the dangerous situation of receiving advice from those in no position to dispense it.
“There is a group of psychologists here that are all urging our patients to check overseas registrations, and we are considering creating a voluntary registration system to help patients learn about the backgrounds of the people they are seeing,” said Ms Simcox.
Kit Hargreaves, CEO of the local tech firm Arocore, said yesterday that he found the documents implicating Mr Wilcox on a US government document database after his interest in Mr Wilcox was piqued by rumors and a personal incident.
“I met him a few years ago…and he spun me a long story about how he was the heir to the Gillette fortune of millions but hadn’t come into the money yet,” said Mr Hargreaves.
Mr Hargreaves posted the documents yesterday morning to the online forum Khmer440, but they were later removed.
The US Embassy spokesman declined to comment on Mr Wilcox’s case yesterday.