FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Billy Joe Taylor, 42, a Lavaca man charged in a $100 million fraud scheme related to COVID-19 health care benefits, had his $100,000 bond revoked.

Judge Mark E. Ford of the Western District of Arkansas federal court reviewed a motion filed by the prosecution, alleging that Taylor committed three violations of his release terms:

  • Continuing to engage in criminal activity while on pretrial release
  • Unauthorized overnight stays at an out-of-state casino
  • Contacting victims or potential witnesses in the investigation or prosecution of his crimes

In the court’s response, the judge granted the state’s petition to revoke the bond.

Upon the evidence presented, the Court does find that Defendant presents an unreasonable flight risk and that he presents an ongoing danger to the community. Further, it is apparent to the Court that given his willful, flagrant, and repeated violations of the conditions of his pretrial release, it is unlikely that Defendant will abide by any condition or combination of conditions the Court may impose short of detention.

Accordingly, and for the reasons stated above, the Petition for Action on Conditions of Pretrial Release (ECF No. 30) is GRANTED, and Defendant’s Secured Bond (ECF No. 12) and the Order Setting Conditions of Release (ECF No. 13) are hereby REVOKED.

Judge Mark E. Ford, Western District of Arkansas Federal Court, Fort Smith

After the hearing, Taylor was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals.

He is charged with 16 counts of health care fraud, and one count of engaging in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property.

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 prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Taylor’s trial is set for September 12, 2022, before Judge P.K. Holmes III.