CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — A grand jury Tuesday handed up a three-count fraud indictment against North Wildwood Dr. John Costino and his wife, Barbara.

According to the indictment, the grand jury charged that Costino committed three counts of health care claims frauds, a third-degree crime.

The charges stem from claims filed for three different patients between Oct. 6 and Oct. 20, 2004, Dec. 14, 2005 and March 13, 2006, and May 17, 2006 and June 5, 2006.

County Prosecutor Robert Taylor said Tuesday afternoon that the charges involve 30 separate incidents of claims fraud for treatments and physical therapy that was never actually administered to patients or treatment administered by unlicensed aides.

Costino, who had his license revoked in July 2009, said Tuesday that he had no comment just yet, but noted that a past indictment was dismissed and "they're at it again."

On Dec. 3, 2009, Superior Court Judge Raymond Batten dismissed a 124-count indictment for health care claims fraud and conspiracy pending against Costino and his wife.

The lengthy indictment, handed up July 28, 2009, charged him with submitting fraudulent bills for 62 patients between June 2004 and December 2007 in the amount of $142,867.

Batten said the lack of specificity in that indictment left him "unsettled" given the severity of the case, which involved second-degree charges.

This latest indictment comes just days after an appellate panel found a jury could be told about a conversation between an undercover officer and Costino that took place in his office in 2007.

The court found the tape of that recording could not be admissible, but the officer would be allowed to testify as to the conversation in which Costino allegedly prescribed oxycodone for her. 

Costino also faces other charges, including nine counts of distribution of a controlled dangerous substance in the third-degree, one count of distribution of CDS in the second degree, nine counts of distribution within 1,000 feet of school property in the third degree and seven counts of health care claims fraud in the second degree.

Contact Trudi Gilfillian:

609-463-6716