Hospital CEO indicted for $848K fraud

The sweet life of a hospital CEO in a 10th floor penthouse in Pattaya, Thailand, and regular golfing came to a halt this week when a federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted the former chief exec of Powell (Wyo.) Valley Healthcare for scamming the hospital out of nearly $848,000, the Powell Tribune reported.

Paul Cardwell was indicted for 12 counts of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud for a total of 15 criminal counts.

During his time as CEO from March to September 2011, Cardwell bilked the hospital in a $847,884 billing scheme and sent money to Plake and Associates, a supposed physician recruiting company under Indiana resident and Cardwell's coconspirator Michael J. Plake, who was also indicted, according to Powell Tribune.

HealthTech Management Services Inc., the company that manages Powell Valley, last month sued Cardwell in the civil case.

HealthTech in a statement said it was "gratified" to learn of the criminal charges. "The disturbing conduct alleged is of grave concern to HealthTech, which is why HealthTech is pursuing its own civil lawsuit against Paul Cardwell," the company stated.

Powell Valley's new CEO, Bill Patten, said, "It would be my sense that the local community would be pleased that it looks like the first step in bringing some sort of justice in this case has been taken," in a Billings Gazette article. "A lot of people are still trying to process the violation of trust that took place here on a personal level." The hospital hired Patten in February.

For more information:
- read the Billings Gazette article
- read the Powell Tribune article

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