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Indiana man pleads guilty in fraud on Wyoming hospital

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 7:57 am

POWELL, Wyo. — An Indiana man accused of helping to defraud Powell Valley Healthcare in Wyoming out of almost $850,000 has pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges.

The Powell Tribune reports former youth minister Michael Plake of West Lafayette, Ind., pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

He and former Powell Valley Healthcare CEO Paul Cardwell were accused of defrauding the organization out of $847,884 last year.

Plake says it was Cardwell's idea to have Plake pose as a recruiter that Powell Valley Healthcare would pay to find doctors. Instead, Plake says, he deposited the recruiting payments and then wrote checks to Cardwell.

Cardwell is on the lam from federal authorities.

Plake's sentencing is set for Nov. 26 in Cheyenne.