Colorado physician sentenced to 2+ years for stealing $250K in COVID-19 relief funds

Francis Joseph, MD, has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for fraudulently obtaining and misappropriating $250,000 in COVID-19 relief funds from two programs, the Justice Department reported June 1. 

Dr. Joseph, 57, of Highlands Ranch, Colo., received the funds from the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program and the Paycheck Protection Program between March 2020 to June 2020. Both programs were meant to provide financial assistance to providers affected by the pandemic.

He used these funds for personal expenses instead, according to the Justice Department. 

The physician was convicted of theft in healthcare and wire fraud in January. He faced a maximum penalty of 20 years for the count of wire fraud. A jury acquitted him of theft of government property for a separate COVID-19 relief payment. 

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