Some Notes on Raymond Lecraw
Stephen Barrett, M.D.
|In 1991, the Washington Post began a series of articles about the arrest and conviction of Raymond Norris Lecraw. [1-5 ] For about a year, Lecraw had owned and operated two clinics in Virginia. In September 1991, at age 43, he was charged with forging the name of a former clinic doctor on several prescriptions. Investigators told the reporter that Lecraw had attended a nonaccredited medical school in the Dominican Republic but failed in five attempts to get certification in Virginia. In October 1991, Lecraw was indicted on eight counts of practicing medicine without a license and two counts of grand larceny for collecting medical services. Not long afterward, he entered Alford pleas to the two felony counts of prescription fraud and six of the counts of practicing medicine without a license. (Alford pleas, which are considered the equivalent of guilty pleas, maintain innocence but acknowledge that the prosecution has enough evidence to persuade a jury that defendant is guilty.) In May 1992, Lecraw received a suspended 12-year sentence that required him to spend 5 months in prison and perform 300 hours of community service. His attorneys claimed that Lecraw always told patients he was not actually a doctor and performed only simple procedures. But the prosecutors and witnesses presented evidence that he (a) received patients while wearing a white lab coat with "Raymond Lecraw, M.D." embroidered on the breast, (b) used business cards that identified him as a medical doctor, and (c) administered medical procedures such as pelvic examinations and setting broken bones .
In the Spring of 2011, it came to my attention that "Raymond LeCraw, M.D." was working for Laboratoires Dom AVMM (Suisse) Inc., a company that promotes and sells products used for cell therapy. Viewing the company's site, I found that in April 2011, Lab Dom's Web site had identified him as the company's "Medical Director" and "Owner and Medical Director of Immediate Care and Family Medical Centers in Virginia," and states that he had done facial cosmetic surgery in Aruba from 1995 through 2010. A few days later, however, Lab Dom's site listed him as Raymond LaCroix, M.D., identified him as a "Medical Consultant." The relevant page was titled "Our Panel of Experts - Engaging he world's most brilliant and innovative minds."
After I called attention to Lecraw's history on Quackwatch, a company official notified me that "Dr. Raymond" had been removed as a consultant. In the e-mail exchange that followed, I asked what school Lecraw had attended and whether Lab Dom would continue to employ him and in what capacity. Tai identified the school as the University of Technology in Santiago but said that Lab Dom had not decided what to do about him.
The school is usually referred to as "UTESA." Curious about it, I found a 2002 California Medical Board report that said:
UTESA School of Medicine [Dominican Republic: founded in 1981]
UTESA is a private for-profit university offering instruction in Spanish or English. The Division temporarily disapproved UTESA on October 11, 1984 based on evidence that UTESA and CIFAS had colluded in fraudulent activities. After conducting a site visit to UTESA School of Medicine on April 12-14, 1985, the Division made its disapproval order permanent effective July 12, 1985. On May 29, 1986 after considering a petition for reconsideration from UTESA officials, the Division adopted a Stipulation and Order whereby UTESA would submit a plan to correct the deficiencies identified by the Division's site team. The plan that the university submitted did not meet the Division's criteria, and at their November 1986 meeting the Division reinstated the July 12, 1985 Order of Disapproval.
While planning the June 1996 site inspection to INTEC and UNIREMHOS, staff invited UTESA officials to participate in the review process. UTESA officials agreed to undergo a new site inspection. Unfortunately, the inspection team found that UTESA had not substantially corrected its previously-identified deficiencies. The Division disapproved UTESA again on February 7, 1997.
UTESA remains on California's list of unapproved medical schools and a few other states use the California evaluation as a guide. However, other states permit UTESA graduates to become licensed if they meet various additional requirements.
The program for the First International Congress in Anti-Aging, Aesthetic & Regenerative Medicine and 8th Malaysian Conference in Anti-Aging, Aesthetic & Regenerative Medicine scheduled for April 30 to May 2, 2011 in Kuala Lumpur listed two lectures by LeCraw:
- Eco-ultrafiltrates (Nanocell Extracts)—One of the Swiss Latest Innovative Application as an Effective Organ
Specific Complementary Regimen to Cellular Therapy and
- Precursor (Progenitor) Stem Cell Therapy, An Effective Proven Therapy for Chronic Disorders and Diseases
The information I have collected about Lacrew is not sufficient for me to judge whether or not he is a medical expert, has "one of the world's most brilliant and innovative minds," or is legally qualified to practice medicine. But people considering the use of his advice or services may find the above facts useful.
- Griffith S. Arlington investigates clinic owner; practicing without a license suspected. Washington Post, Sept 25, 1991.
- Griffith S. Va. man in medical probe is jailed; bond revoked after investigators allege practice continued. Washington Post, Sept 26, 1991.
- Griffith S. Bond in prescription case. Washington Post, Oct 2, 1991.
- Griffith S. Clinic operator indicted in Virginia. Washington Post, Oct 22, 1991.
- Griffith S. Crystal City health clinic operator pleads guilty to 8 counts. Washington Post, Nov 28, 1991.
- Griffith S. Man posing as Va. doctor is sentenced; 12-year prison term cut to five months. Washington Post, May 30, 1992.
- Park P. History of the division of licensing's past approvals and disapprovals of international medical schools. April 12, 2002.
This article was posted on July 21, 2011.