FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A federal court has rejected another motion from a Lavaca man representing himself in a $100 million COVID-19 fraud case.

Billy Joe Taylor, 43, is charged with 16 counts of health care fraud and one count of engaging in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property. On July 8, after multiple previous changes in representation, Taylor requested and was granted the right to represent himself.

On September 7, the court denied six motions that Taylor submitted after he began representing himself, stating that “for the most part, these requests are procedurally redundant.” His motions include a request for release, with the court noting that “the fact that Mr. Taylor has chosen to represent himself has no bearing on this Court’s previous findings that he is a flight risk, poses a danger to the community, and is unlikely to abide by any condition or combination of conditions of release.”

On September 19, Taylor filed a 10-page, handwritten motion asking the court to reconsider. That motion was denied by Judge P.K. Holmes III on September 26.

Nearly all of Mr. Taylor’s instant motion is devoted to rehashing arguments for his release from pretrial detention — a topic which has already been addressed by no fewer than three prior orders in this case. Mr. Taylor’s latest motion does not offer any new law or facts that would warrant departure from any of this Court’s prior rulings.

P.K. Holmes III, U.S. District Judge, Western District of Arkansas Federal Court, Ft. Smith Division

According to court documents, Taylor engaged in a scheme between February 2017 and May 2021 in connection with diagnostic laboratory testing, including urine drug testing and tests for respiratory illnesses during the COVID-19 pandemic that was medically unnecessary, not ordered by medical providers, and/or not provided as represented. The indictment states that Taylor controlled and directed multiple diagnostic laboratories, and used those labs to submit more than $100 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare.

Each of the counts is punishable by a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.