A plumbing contractor pleaded guilty to helping an ex-hospital executive defraud 448-bed West Georgia Medical Center, LaGrange, of $2 million between 1993 and 2003. Kenneth Grace, 62, pleaded guilty to submitting false invoices for work and materials. The invoices were then approved for payment by Richard Hutcheson, 41, former director of plant operations and assistant vice president at West Georgia. Hutcheson, who resigned in 2003, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of mail fraud. Grace said he kept part of the illicit proceeds and used the rest to purchase real estate, vehicles and other items for Hutcheson and others. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; a sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 6, 2006. Hutcheson faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; his sentencing hearing is scheduled for Dec. 21. -- by Mark Taylor
Former Ga. hospital contractor pleads guilty to fraud
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