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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 14, 2021

Southern California Man Pleads Guilty To Multimillion-Dollar Medical Device Fraud Scheme

Defendant Admitted Guilt In An Earlier Fraud Scheme, Then Fled Before Sentencing And Continued Committing This Second Fraud

SAN FRANCISCO – Joseph Albert Corey pleaded guilty in federal court today to one count of wire fraud conspiracy and three counts of wire fraud involving a multimillion-dollar medical device loan scheme, announced Acting United States Attorney Stephanie Hinds and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair.

Corey, 56 and last known to live in or near Los Angeles, earlier pleaded guilty to mail fraud in a separate federal criminal case.  He was released from custody in that case and then absconded from his February 2020 sentencing hearing.  While a fugitive, he continued committing a second fraud scheme.  Corey remained a fugitive until he was detained by Mexican immigration authorities in January 2021 and deported to the United States.

Today Corey pleaded guilty to the second fraud scheme.  He now awaits sentencing in both fraud cases.

Corey pleaded guilty today to a wire fraud conspiracy to defraud medical device lenders that began no later than March 2019 and continued through October 2020.  According to his plea agreement, Corey assumed the identities of multiple medical doctors.  In the scheme, Corey would impersonate an actual doctor and apply to a loan company for a loan to purchase an expensive medical device from a medical device supply company.  Once the lender approved the loan for the doctor Corey impersonated, Corey directed the lender to deposit the loaned purchase funds into a specific bank account.  The bank account was opened earlier in the scheme under an account name that closely resembled or was identical to the name of a legitimate medical device supply company, and Corey controlled that bank account.  Once the unsuspecting lender deposited the funds into the account, Corey appropriated the money and, under a different false identity, used the money to purchase gold from a precious metals dealer, thus obscuring the trail of the stolen loan money.

Corey admitted in his plea agreement that he defrauded more than 10 victims in this scheme and that the scheme caused losses of at least $3.5 million.

In the earlier mail fraud case from which Corey absconded, Corey was charged for depositing fraudulent checks into an account opened under a false name and then purchasing gold with the deposited money.  Corey entered a guilty plea in November 2019 to the charge of mail fraud in that case and, while out on bond, failed to appear at his February 2020 sentencing hearing.

According to a filing by the government, when Corey was detained in January 2021 he possessed numerous false identifications, including one identifying him as a “special agent” of the CIA.

The sentencing of Corey on both criminal cases is scheduled for January 6, 2022, at 10 a.m. before the Honorable Edward M. Chen, U.S. District Court Judge.

Corey pleaded guilty today in the more recent case (CR 20-481 EMC) to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349 and three counts of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343.  The conspiracy and wire fraud charges carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.  The plea agreement specifies that restitution to the victims shall be ordered in an amount no less than $3.5million.

In his earlier case (CR 19-530 EMC), Corey pleaded guilty in November 2019 to one count of mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341.  In that case, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, along with restitution in an as-yet unspecified amount.

While these are the maximum possible penalties, in a criminal case a court imposes a sentence only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

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

Updated October 14, 2021