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January 27, 2014 12:35 pm

Earlier story: Cardwell gets 10-year prison sentence

Written by CJ Baker

Paul Cardwell has received 10 years in federal prison for embezzling nearly $1.7 million from hospitals he oversaw in Powell and Indiana.

Update: a more complete story can be read here.

U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Freudenthal sentenced Cardwell to 121 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. That was the sentence sought by the U.S. Attorney's Office. Cardwell's attorney, James Voyles of Indianopolis, had asked for something in the range of 63 to 87 months.

While CEO of Powell Valley Healthcare from March to September 2011, Cardwell pretended some $848,000 was going to recruiting medical staff, when in actuality, he and a friend in Indiana, Michael J. Plake, were simply pocketing the money. The scheme fell apart after Powell Valley Healthcare's auditors began questioning the payments to Plake's "company," Plake and Associates, and Cardwell resigned. Authorities later learned Cardwell and Plake had run the same scheme and taken about $850,000 while Cardwell headed up White Memorial Hospital in Monticello, Ind., between 2003 and 2009.

Plake received a 30-month sentence for his role in the scheme last year.

Cardwell stole a family member’s passport and gave federal authorities the slip in late July 2012 while free on bond. After 10 months at large, a tip to U.S. authorities led to Cardwell’s arrest on June 7, 2013, at a gym in the beach resort community of Hua Hin, Thailand.

Officials from Powell Valley Healthcare — including attorney Tracy Copenhaver and current CEO Bill Patten — had asked Judge Freudenthal for the maximum sentence possible. Patten spoke of the impacts Cardwell's scheme have had on the organization, while Copenhaver recounted a litany of "unbelievable" lies and deceptions Cardwell made during his time as CEO.

"He is a con man extraordinaire and you're going to see some of that today," Copenhaver told the judge before Cardwell spoke.

Cardwell — shackled and wearing an orange prison uniform — apologized for his actions, saying he'd been prideful and arrogant. He specifically apologized to the communities of Powell and Monticello. He also asked Freudenthal to consider the good things he's done in his life.

Cardwell made no obvious reaction while the judge pronounced the sentence.

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