Gabriel Bethel Emphatically Denies his Company had any Part in Fraud or Forgery
SANTA FE, NM / ACCESSWIRE / August 28, 2020 / When the coronavirus pandemic hit in March 2020, countries around the world, including America, had an overwhelming need for personal protection equipment, specifically respirator masks. The public and private sector combined resources to create an otherwise impossible supply chain to deliver these emergency supplies.
When a third-party Texas PPE medical company solicited Bionet – a government vendor – to supply respirator masks ordered by the State of New Mexico, what seemed like a great relationship took an unexpected turn.
The proposed third party supplier was a Texas company with outstanding retired military credentials, including a retired General. They were introduced to Bionet through a trusted business relationship.
Given the credentials of the Texas supplier, Bionet did not hesitate to enlist their help. The Texas company was offering a stable supply at better pricing than Bionet’s existing supplier.
New Mexico – August 2020: The third-party Texas supplier seemed like the perfect solution to a stable well-priced supply of the goods needed by the State of New Mexico but when the promised orders failed to arrive, both Bionet and the State of New Mexico became frustrated and threatened to cancel its contracts with the Texas supplier. At this point, the Texas supplier blamed the delays on their Chinese factory who wanted additional official credentials to release the ordered goods. The agent for the Texas supplier asked Bionet to issue a verification letter showing Bionet’s government vendor status. Bionet regularly issues government verification letters to potential suppliers.
In this case, the “standard verification letter” which was an approved email verification from the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff was not sufficient. The Texas supplier wanted specific language on the official letterhead to appease the Chinese factory. Mr. Bethel first called the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff office for this letter but was told they had no access to the letterhead due to work from home orders. Mr. Bethel then called the LTC at the National Guard who he had collaborated with on the official letter drafting process in the past. He asked for permission from the LTC to engage with the Texas supplier in a collaborative draft process and the process began. It was made clear between all parties involved that the working draft document was not officially approved until the Adjutant General approved it for circulation, but this never took place.
The Texas supplier with all of its celebrated retired military personnel “broke rank” and misused the unapproved National Guard draft without knowledge or authorization of Bionet or the National Guard according to Mr. Bethel.
Mr. Bethel further explained how the misused draft letter would eventually surface in another state, misrepresented by the Texas supplier as an official authorized letter, and was therefore subsequently flagged as a fraudulent forgery.
Despite the resulting allegations of forgery and misrepresentation of product deliveries caused by the Texas supplier, Gabriel Bethel, Bionet CEO, explains that Bionet followed regulations.
“The letter was an incomplete draft awaiting the Texas supplier’s final approval, not a forgery of any kind.”
As he explained, sending verification letters of this nature to potential new suppliers is common practice when trying to establish a new supply chain. “The request for this letter by the Texas supplier was a standard normal request. Their misuse and misrepresentation of the letter were not normal.”
Bionet’s email records show that the evidence posted on the New Mexico journalist’s web page demonstrating a copy of the letter as “forged” does not match up. The journalist has posted a letter presumably given to him as evidence by the government. According to email records, the misspellings and alterations pointed out in the “forged letter” on the journalist’s site had to take place after the letter left Bionet’s possession. This means it was altered at some point following delivery to the Texas supplier and prior to being posted online. Someone along that chain of custody specifically altered the word adjutant in the letter because the original scanned draft copy was spelled correctly as reflected in the email records.
Following the discovery of the misused letter by officials the Texas supplier claimed the unauthorized letter was successful and the millions of dollars of PPE goods ordered by the state were shipped and en route; but, within a week they began to make new elaborate excuses about their delays and non-performance until their ultimate inability to perform on any single order was finally uncovered leaving both Bionet and New Mexico in a very difficult position with a relationship now strained by the abuse of credentials and ultimate non-performance of this Texas company.
“It was this company that caused every problem which occurred between New Mexico and Bionet. No money ever changed hands as a result of these unfortunate events but a great deal of precious time and effort was wasted for both Bionet and the State of New Mexico.”
As Gabriel Bethel stated, “My staff and I were all working together with the government day and night to try and get emergency supplies here. Everything about the effort with the state was collaborative and well-intentioned because at the time and under the circumstances we couldn’t do it without each other. It’s unfortunate we encountered such a bad actor in the Texas supplier and the local press has chosen to make such an ugly story of it all.
Bionet’s attorney Paul Kennedy explained: “There is no conclusive evidence of forgery or fraudulent activity between Bionet and the government as alleged by the press.”
As a result of these events, Bionet remains part of a state and federal investigation surrounding these circumstances and continues to cooperate with all state and federal authorities and agencies to aid in the successful outcome of this investigation.
Bionet is a medical products and services development company focused on human health sciences, integrative medicine, and pharmacology.
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