Physician accused of pocketing nearly $300K in COVID-19 relief funds: 4 details

The federal government has charged a Colorado physician with misappropriating thousands of dollars in COVID-19 relief funds from his practice for personal use.

Four details:

1. In an indictment unsealed April 7 in Denver, Francis Joseph, MD, of Highlands Ranch, Colo., is accused of transferring about $118,000 from his medical clinic's account to his personal bank account. The money was provided to the practice as part of the Accelerated and Advanced Payment Program and Provider Relief Funds, two federal programs to assist medical providers during the pandemic.

2. After Dr. Joseph was terminated from the clinic, he applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan on behalf of the clinic totaling $179,999 and allegedly pocketed those funds as well.

3. The indictment also accuses Dr. Joseph of filing for bankruptcy on behalf of his former clinic without the knowledge of the clinic owners. He allegedly submitted documents with false claims about the misappropriated federal funds in the filing.

4. Dr. Joseph is charged with theft, wire fraud and making false statements, according to the U.S. Justice Department. He is scheduled to appear in court May 25.


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