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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 1, 2021

Apprehended Fugitive Charged In Second Fraud Scheme

Defendant, Arrested As A Fugitive In A Pending Fraud Prosecution, Is Indicted Again For A Different Fraud Scheme Involving Medical Device Loans

SAN FRANCISCO – Joseph Albert Corey appeared today in federal court to face an indictment filed December 15, 2020, charging him with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and money laundering, announced Acting United States Attorney Stephanie Hinds and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair.  Corey also re-appeared on a 2019 federal indictment for mail fraud to which he had already pleaded guilty but had absconded in February 2020 before sentencing.     

According to the new indictment (CR 20-481 RS), between March 2019 and October  2020, Corey, age 56 and last known to live in Los Angeles, engaged in a fraud scheme that involved impersonating different physicians and applying for loans in the physicians’ names.  The applications sought loans purportedly to purchase expensive medical devices.  The indictment outlines that once a fraudulent loan application was approved for a loan, Corey directed the lender to deposit the funds in a bank account set up by Corey in a deceptive name, one that closely resembled or was identical to that of a legitimate medical-device supply company.  After the lender deposited the money loaned for the medical device purchase into the apparent medical-device supplier’s bank account, the indictment alleges that Corey withdrew the money and purchased gold.  The gold purchase obscured the financial trail of the funds, laundering the money for Corey.  The indictment alleges three different executions of this scheme – twice in April 2019 and once in August 2020 after Corey pleaded guilty to the fraud outlined below and had absconded – that netted more than $300,000.

Corey is also indicted in this district in an earlier federal criminal case charging a different fraud (CR 19-530 EMC).  In October 2019, an indictment charged Corey with engaging in a mail fraud scheme that obtained approximately $34,000.  The scheme involved Corey opening an account under a false name and depositing checks into the account that were drawn without authority on a legitimate company’s bank account.  Corey then purchased gold with the deposited funds.  Corey ultimately pleaded guilty to this mail fraud charge in November 2019.  While sentencing was pending, the Court ordered Corey to appear for a bond hearing.  Corey failed to appear and on February 19, 2020, the Court issued a bench warrant for his arrest.  Corey remained at large for almost a year, and during that time he was charged in the new indictment.

In another filing by the government, the government asserts that Corey left the country and remained at large until arrested in January 2021.  When arrested, he possessed numerous false identifications, including one identifying him as a special agent of the CIA.  He was transferred to this district to face both cases outlined above.

Investigators are asking anyone who has further information about Joseph Albert Corey or his activities that may be relevant to these cases to email the FBI tip line at tips.fbi.gov.

Corey’s next scheduled court appearance is set for March 8, 2021, at 10:30 a.m., for identification of his counsel in front of the Honorable Sallie Kim, United States Magistrate Judge, who Corey appeared before this morning.  Corey is also set to appear on April 7, 2021, at 9:00 a.m., for a status conference before the Honorable Edward M. Chen, United States District Judge. 

The new indictment (CR 20-481 EMC) charges Corey with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349; three counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343; and two counts of money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1957. An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  

If convicted of a wire fraud or wire fraud conspiracy charge, Corey faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine, and five years of supervised release once imprisonment ends.  If convicted of a money laundering charge, Corey faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the amount of the criminally derived proceeds, as well as three years of supervised release once imprisonment ends.  Any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Corey already pleaded guilty in November 2019 in the earlier case (CR 19-530 EMC) to one count of mail fraud.  He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and term of up to three years of supervised release once imprisonment ends.

Mohit Gourisaria is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Maddi Wachs and Marina Ponomarchuk.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Updated March 1, 2021