Federal judge sentences former Wyoming and Indiana hospital chief to 10 years in fraud case

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – A former hospital administrator who pleaded guilty to defrauding hospitals in Wyoming and Indiana has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal on Monday also ordered Paul Cardwell to pay restitution of nearly $1.7 million.

Cardwell pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Prosecutors say Cardwell took nearly $850,000 from Powell Valley Healthcare in 2011 and earlier took about the same amount from White County Memorial Hospital in Monticello, Ind.

Auditors discovered the scheme in 2011. Authorities say Cardwell fled to Thailand while free on bond but was caught and extradited to the United States.

Fruedenthal last year sentenced co-defendant Michael J. Plake of West Lafayette, Ind., to 30 months in prison.