Doctor convicted of PPP loan fraud, COVID relief charges

Doctor convicted of PPP loan fraud, COVID relief charges

A federal jury recently convicted a Colorado doctor of fraudulently receiving about $250,000 from two separate COVID-19 relief programs.

Doctor convicted of PPP loan fraud, COVID relief charges

Court documents in the trial of Dr. Francis F. Joseph, 57, show that he applied for and received government funds from both the Early and Accelerated Payment Program and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In addition to fraudulently receiving the funds, Dr. Joseph used the money to pay for his own personal expenses.

doctor convicted of ppp loan fraud

Terminated Physician Files Bogus Bankruptcy

Dr. Joseph worked as a physician for more than 32 years, graduating with his medical degree in 1989, according to local news reports. His original indictment revealed that he specialized in family medicine, but was fired from the clinic where he practiced. He then applied for the PPP loan on behalf of the clinic despite its termination and transferred the funds to his personal account.

Dr. Joseph was originally charged with three counts of fraud, although the jury acquitted him of one count. The original indictment also alleged that he filed for bankruptcy on behalf of the clinic without the knowledge of its owners, submitting documents containing false statements about the clinic’s funds.

The doctor’s ill-gotten gains were allegedly spent on travel and home improvements, among other things, according to the original indictment.

Fraud section gets their man

The Fraud Section of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice has made extensive efforts to combat fraud related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Dr. Joseph’s conviction was announced by Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. Also helping to announce the conviction were Special Agent in Charge Curt Muller of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, and Agent Special In Charge Weston King of the US Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General.

A statement related to the case posted on the Department of Justice website read: “Since the passage of the CARES Act, Fraud Section attorneys have prosecuted more than 200 defendants in more than 130 criminal cases related to CARES Act programs and funds. The Fraud Section has also seized more than $80 million in cash derived from CARES Act-related fraud schemes, as well as numerous real estate and luxury items purchased with such proceeds.”

Sentencing date yet to be set

Dr. Joseph’s official conviction is for ‘Health Care Theft and Wire Fraud’, and he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on the wire fraud charge. A sentencing date has not yet been set, but the federal district court judge will decide the sentence taking into account the US Sentencing Guidelines and other legal factors.

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