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Colorado Doctor Convicted of Misappropriating $250K from COVID-19 Relief Programs

A rendition of amicroscopic coronavirus.

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Francis Joseph, a licensed physician, has been convicted of embezzling Medicare funds and wire fraud. The jury unanimously ruled that he illegally siphoned Medicare funds and Payment Protection Plan loans from his former employer to himself and his associates. He was found not guilty of theft of government property.

Per the indictment, Joseph founded Springs Medical Associates, P.C. in 2014; he operated, managed, and controlled the company principally based in El Paso County, Colorado until he ceded management responsibilities in January 2020.  In the wake of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services expanded the Advanced Payment Program. This allowed Medicare providers access to advance funds to aid their operations. The CARES Act further opened providers up to cash flow with forgivable Payment Protection Plan (PPP) loans to keep workers employed.

In the spring of 2020, Joseph filed the paperwork to receive advance payments for Springs Medical even though he no longer had managing control. He further filed for multiple PPP loans in Springs Medical’s name. All the money, totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars, ended up in his own personal accounts. 

For his embezzlement, he was convicted of one count of theft or embezzlement of health care benefit program Funds and one count of wire fraud. He was found not guilty on the count of theft of government property.

Joseph was represented by public defender David Kraut. The case is set in the Colorado District Court, and a sentencing hearing will be held on April 6. 

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