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Cardwell brought back to U.S.

Ultimately headed to Wyoming

Hospital CEO-turned-fugitive Paul Cardwell arrived back in the United States around mid-day Wednesday in the custody of FBI agents.

Regional FBI spokesman Dave Joly confirmed that bureau agents had retrieved the former Powell Valley Healthcare CEO from Bangkok, Thailand, earlier this week. That’s where Cardwell had been held since a June 7 arrest at the hands of Royal Thai Tourist Police. Assisted by the United States’ Homeland Security Investigations, Thai police found Cardwell — apparently using a bogus passport — in the beach resort town of Hua Hin.

Because of general security precautions for prisoner transports, U.S. law enforcement officials were vague about exactly where Cardwell was on Wednesday, though he ultimately will be brought back to Cheyenne.

“Once he steps foot on U.S. soil, he will be immediately taken to the nearest federal magistrate,” John Powell, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cheyenne, said Tuesday. Powell said that appearance was likely to take place in California.

“Once there, he will make his way to Wyoming and will eventually appear before a Wyoming federal judge,” Powell said.

Cardwell fled from authorities in late August, shortly before he was expected to take a plea deal on pending felony charges in the U.S. District Court in Cheyenne.

The 15 charges — to which Cardwell has pleaded not guilty — allege he and an accomplice stole nearly $848,000 from Powell Valley Healthcare in 2011; Cardwell and the accomplice, Michael J. Plake of West Lafayette, Ind., also allegedly ran the same billing scheme at a Monticello, Ind., hospital years earlier, taking in nearly $846,000 there.

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