VAOIG Seal U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs
Office of Inspector General
Office of Investigations
Washington, DC 20420
(202) 565-7702
Friday, October 09, 1998
Former VA Psychiatrist Sentenced to 15 Years in Jail
Richard J. Griffin, Inspector General, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), announced today that on October 8, 1998, Richard Borison, M.D, former VA psychiatrist, pleaded guilty in state court, Augusta, GA, to 36 felony charges. These charges included theft by taking, theft of services, making false statements, and a single Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) violation. The guilty plea was received in the middle of Borison's ongoing trial. Borison faced 113 charges, which were part of a 172-count indictment handed down by a state grand jury on February 19, 1997. As a part of the plea agreement, Borison was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment, 15 years' probation, fined $125,000, and ordered to pay $4.26 million dollars in restitution and forfeitures. He agreed to surrender his medical license and never to engage in patient studies again.

Griffin stated that the initial indictment charged both Borison and his partner, Bruce I. Diamond, Ph.D. During the course of the scheme, Borison was on the staff of the VA Medical Center (VAMC) Augusta, GA, at one point being the Chief of Psychiatry, and Diamond was on the VAMC staff "without compensation" and a member of the board of directors at the VAMC's affiliated non-profit research corporation. Dr. Borison was also the former Chairman, Department of Psychiatry at Medical College of Georgia (MCG), Augusta, GA, and Diamond was a former employee of the Department of Psychiatry at MCG. In effecting the fraud scheme Borison and Diamond made false statements to VA to utilize VA facilities and patients in conjunction with the MCG research. Diamond pleaded guilty to 54 counts in December 1997 and was ordered to pay $150,000 in fines, $50,000 in receivership expenses, and $1.1 million dollars in restitution and forfeitures.

Griffin stated this investigation was conducted jointly by his Southeast Field Office and the State of Georgia, Office of Attorney General. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney General David S. McLaughlin and Special Assistant State Attorney General John E. Floyd.