VA theft charge against doctor dismissed

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

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, 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.”

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