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VA theft charge against doctor dismissed

Friday, May 2, 2014 4:02 PM
Last updated Saturday, May 3, 2014 9:54 PM
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A criminal charge has been dismissed against a primary-care physician who said he was falsely accused of receiving free plastic surgery and medications during his time at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Dr. Raymond Kostromin, 50, says the situation has "taken a great toll on my (family). ... This dismissal has been a very long time coming.”


Dr. Raymond Kostromin, 50, was indicted on a single count of theft of services and suspended from the hospital last year for allegedly receiving plastic surgery and a number of prescriptions between January 2010 and August 2011 through the VA Healthcare System’s free-services program, which is only for veterans with certain income levels.

A motion granted by Augusta Superior Court Judge James Blanchard Jr. on April 15 dismissed the indictment because information unavailable at the time of arrest “indicates that there is no longer sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Assistant District Attorney Amanda Heath signed the order.

“This whole situation has taken a great toll on my son, parents and (family),” Kostromin said in an e-mail Friday. “This dismissal has been a very long time coming.”

According to the Georgia Composite Medical Board’s Web site, Kostromin’s physician license is active until March 2015. A representative at St. Francis Hospital in Columbus, Ga., confirmed the 20-year physician currently practices internal medicine at the facility.

The Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center declined comment. The VA Office of the Inspector General initally filed charges against Kostromin.

“We are unable to respond,” spokesman Pete Scovill said. “Employee records are private. This includes Dr. Kostromin.”

Comments (12) Add comment
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corgimom
38545
Points
corgimom 05/02/14 - 08:28 pm
5
5
I hope he sues for malicious

I hope he sues for malicious prosecution, and I hope he wins.

jdsgirl63
3385
Points
jdsgirl63 05/02/14 - 09:11 pm
5
3
I don't get the thumbs down

I don't get the thumbs down for Corgimom's post. If he was wrongfully accused and arrested, which according to the judicial system there wasn't sufficient evidence to prove the allegations against him. Sounds like there was nothing to see to begin with. Pay the man.

eschamb
159
Points
eschamb 05/02/14 - 09:27 pm
9
1
More to the story

I think there's a lot more to the story than what is reported here.

Stunned 2
6297
Points
Stunned 2 05/03/14 - 04:21 am
4
4
I am suspecious

This Judge may be accustomed to 'Professional Courtesy' - which is common within the Private Medical community. Doctors and their families have long exchanged medical services - exempt from charging each other within the Private Medical community. This article states: "because information unavailable at the time of arrest indicates that there is no longer sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." What exactly does that mean? Does it mean that documentation is missing? Or that the procedures were not entered into the computerized VA billing systen? It surely does not mean that the accusations were not true.

sbear
13
Points
sbear 05/03/14 - 05:54 pm
1
0
VA theft charge against doctor dismissed

Hallelujah! You would not find a physician more dedicated to his patients than Dr. Kostromin. A great loss to the VA.

jimmymac
47789
Points
jimmymac 05/04/14 - 09:39 am
0
0
VA
Unpublished

With all the talk about poor patient treatment in the VA facilities they should eliminate the VA altogether. Pay the vets a stipend for private insurance and let them choose where to be treated. Anything the government has a hand in will cost more and be less efficient than the private sector.

ex-military
9
Points
ex-military 05/04/14 - 11:22 am
2
1
Much more to this story

Well ESCHAMB U are correct-as a former patient of this provider I can tell U there is MUCH more to this story but U are unlikely to hear it from the VA. Notice the NO comment from the VA spokesman. I can tell U that Dr. Kostromin fought for me for years to get a colonsocopy and other studies done at the Augusta VA and for his troubles he got fired!!

PrayN4U
397
Points
PrayN4U 05/05/14 - 12:22 pm
2
0
Happy

I am happy for him and his family. If the VA had spent half as much time allowing vets to get care as they did trying to prosecute Dr. Kostromin maybe they wouldn't be in dodo creek now.

VA Vet
4
Points
VA Vet 05/05/14 - 08:45 pm
0
0
corgimom

corgimom I have been a patient of doctor kostromin for many years he has fought for our colonoscopies for years now people are dying. but now the point I followed this since the day it happened your old comment on the original time he was put in jail on that you called him a liar and a theft now that he won your like ya lets get on the winning side that fallacy is called a bandwagon. You automatically got on the side that he was guilty. the term "innocent until proved guilty" was not comply to your corgi and family filled life.

VA Vet
4
Points
VA Vet 05/05/14 - 08:45 pm
0
0
corgimom

corgimom I have been a patient of doctor kostromin for many years he has fought for our colonoscopies for years now people are dying. but now the point I followed this since the day it happened your old comment on the original time he was put in jail on that you called him a liar and a theft now that he won your like ya lets get on the winning side that fallacy is called a bandwagon. You automatically got on the side that he was guilty. the term "innocent until proved guilty" was not comply to your corgi and family filled life.

Marinerman1
5481
Points
Marinerman1 05/06/14 - 07:52 am
0
0
Well, the Botox Is Working

His forehead looks just like Kenny Rogers, and Bruce Jenner !! All joking aside, it appears from the comments here, he was a good guy, who was fighting a fight for our Vets. While they may not be able to say it publicly, the VA should apologize to him in private.

corgimom
38545
Points
corgimom 05/06/14 - 04:46 pm
0
0
Yeah, isn't it sad when you

Yeah, isn't it sad when you have faith in a VA hospital, and their administrators, and then you find that your trust was misplaced?

But VA Vet, I'm wondering, where were YOU when he was being accused, why didn't you defend him then?

Because you thought the charges were true also?

If you knew that it wasn't true, why didn't you speak up?

Again- you thought it might be true, and you didn't want to go out on a limb.

I don't respect people that keep quiet and then say, "Oh, I knew he was innocent all along."

Sure.

justthefacts
25084
Points
justthefacts 05/06/14 - 09:20 pm
0
0
Va Vet

Yeah, there are people on here who are quick to judge. Happens all the time.

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