The founder of a McKees Rocks drug rehab center pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of supplying heroin to addicts and five counts of tax fraud, according to an announcement from the U.S. attorney’s office.
David Francis, 69, of McKees Rocks, founded Next Step Recovery Housing, a rehab facility, and has been in jail for more than two years following an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in 2017.
Francis conspired to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin through the rehab center with suppliers from New York City from November 2016 through February 2017.
Many of the customers were current or former clients of Next Step Recovery Housing, which was originally founded as a nonprofit but was shifted to for-profit status to avoid state and federal audits, according to federal prosecutors.
At the same time, Francis also operated All Personal Matters, a purported income tax preparation service, and prepared and filed fraudulent federal tax returns on behalf of clients. The U.S. attorney’s office said the IRS lost over $1.68 million due to fraud from All Personal Matters.
Prosecutors also said Francis paid the staff members of All Personal Matters with heroin and crack and the tax service was a front for the drug operation.