A Colorado doctor has been indicted in federal court for allegedly stealing nearly $300,000 in government funds from COVID-19 relief programs, according to federal prosecutors.
An indictment against Francis F. Joseph, 56, of Highlands Ranch, was unsealed Wednesday in Denver where Joseph is also charged with making false statements in connection with bankruptcy proceedings, according to a U.S. Justice Department news release.
Joseph allegedly transferred $118,000 in COVID-19 relief funding from a medical clinic’s account into his personal bank account, and spent the money on travel and home improvements, according to the release. Following his firing from the clinic, Joseph allegedly applied for a $179,999 loan under the Payment Protection Program, on behalf of the clinic, which he allegedly funneled into his bank account.
Joseph allegedly filed for bankruptcy on behalf of the clinic, unbeknownst to the clinic, following his termination from the medical practice. The bankruptcy filing included “materially false statements,” the release said.
He has been charged with theft in connection with health care, theft of government property, wire fraud, and making a false statement in connection with a bankruptcy proceeding.
Joseph is scheduled to appear in court on May 25 before U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Kato Crews. If convicted, he faces maximum penalties of 10 years in prison for each theft count, 20 years for wire fraud, and five years for the bankruptcy proceeding false statement.
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