Hospital CEO charged with embezzlement after accounts payable audit

The former CEO of Powell Valley Healthcare in Wyoming is being accused of embezzling $847,884 in hospital funds after an accounts payable audit was conducted. The allegations were investigated by the U.S. Postal Service and the FBI.

According to The Powell Tribune, Paul Cardwell is charged with 15 felony counts of fraud. Cardwell allegedly funneled the stolen money through written checks to an accomplice, Michael Plake, by claiming the money was authorized for recruiting medical staff for the hospital. Instead, Plake kicked back the money to Cardwell, keeping 25 percent for himself. Plake is being charged with 15 counts of fraud as well, reports the newspaper.

Cardwell has denied the charges, claiming that he acted accordingly with the healthcare-provider recruiting industry, states the Tribune. He also says he did not sign an enforceable contract with HealthTech and was therefore an independent contractor.

Powell Valley Healthcare will receive a payment of $205,000 from its insurance provider, under the company's policy to compensate for criminal activities, according to the Claims Journal. Current CEO Bill Patten says that insurance payments are just the beginning of the organization's overall efforts to regain its losses.

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