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Arrested Ashland Doctor: A Life Spinning Out of Control?

SCRANTON — In 2011, Stephanie Tarapchak spent 10 weekends in the Women`s Unit of the Lackawanna County Corrections Facility, after a judge ruled Tarapchak contacted a teenaged child in violation of a custody order.

On at least one weekend in jail, court papers claim Tarapchak smuggled drugs in a body cavity.  Papers said she brought painkillers, and anti-anxiety drugs into lockup for her own personal use.

An ex-boyfriend told investigators Tarapchak, “…was shooting herself up with intravenous Valium on the way to prison.”

Prison officials will not comment if they are investigating whether it did adequate searches.

Prosecutors also charged Tarapchak with the 2011 death of Thomas Kromer, 52.

Court papers claim Tarapchak filled 15 prescriptions for painkillers in the four months before Kromer’s death.

“She was giving him all this medicine, and was telling him, `be careful with it because it will blow your heart out,” said, Barbara, Kromer’s sister.

The criminal investigation looked at Tarapchak`s record of writing prescriptions. Court papers show that over a six month period in 2011, she wrote 129,704 prescription painkillers. Which the investigator labelled, “…very high for a family practice.”

The Attorney General`s office also charged Tarapchak with insurance fraud.

“She was and is basically a good person and a good doctor,” said Tarapchak’s mother Doris Machuzah, who stands behind her daughter.

But court papers show a former employee of Tarapchak’s claimed the doctor was “…sometimes drunk or passed out in her apartment (above her office), and the patient would still be billed for an office visit.”

One other note from the grand jury presentment.

An ex-boyfriend said that in 2010, Tarapchak prescribed him Oxycontin, “to sell to college students for money.”

The doctor, whose license has been suspended is scheduled to face a judge Thursday in Lackawanna County on the various charges.

7 comments

  • cherrie moyle

    I cant believe we as a community are still writing nd commenting on this..I agree with the gals that commented on the ex’s..ex employee and ex boyfriends.why wasnt anything said during the time of their employment and while these so called boyfriends were an active partner in her life..how does one see her shoot up drugs and wait to say something no they wait until other ppl are talking about her in a negative light..you talk about a coward and kicking the doc while she’s down.its a rotten shame how people behave.I know this fine lady exclusively. And she is and remains a fine doctor and person.
    Like I said I worked closely with dr.tarapchak and she ran a professional docters office.she was dedicated and loyal to her patient.there were occasions when patients coludnt pay and it was never an issue wirh this doctor.her patients came 1st before money..The press potrays dr.tarahcak as though she were a hard core criminal no this isnt the case.I can say this..until she looks me in my eyes and I hear it from her own lips that any of these stories are remotely true.then stories from the press I wont and can not believe..she will have her day to speak and then the truth will be revealed…

  • Cherrie Moyle

    Im not saying she is blameless..what I am saying i find this entire story explainable..and only dr. Tarachak can tell us really what happened. .I really dont put too much stock in the press..an who is barb?? Concerned friend mahanoycity

  • Cherrie Moyle

    Id love to no where it all went wrong..im having a rough time believing any of this…I knew the doc on medical level , a personal level, and I also worked with herat her ashland office…I must say as my doctor she was great.she took her x an examined me…she spoke n was intet ested in me…she even made house calls.as an employee i never noticed anyy fraudulent behavior never.she also was a dear friend of my husband n therewas never anything inappropriate.there Iis one thing I did notice she was under alot of pressure involving her exhusband

  • Margaret Tighe

    This is a shame. Patients not following directions. Drug dealer X boyfriend. Family problems. The pressure builds, until not even a Dr. can with stand the harm of a hateful environment… I hope she gets time served for whatever she is found guilty of, and doesn’t get left holding the bag for what all of ‘group-think’ tank did. I would trust her with my health care. I’m not a junkie so that would make her job easier?

    • Barb

      Your very right …..and it makes it hard on people that DO follow directions….and take their prescriptions sensibly…I love this part too..an EX Employee and an EX boyfriend…ok! This has get even written all over it….Why didnt they say something at the time?????hmm

  • Alan

    What I don’t understand is Barb and her family’s hatred towards Dr. Tarapchak when in this article Barb even said that her brother was warned about the drugs prescribed to him.

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