Authorities say the two men, from March 2011 to September 2011, embarked on a billing scam that involved mail and wire fraud, and money laundering. The pair sent checks to Plake's home in West Lafayette, Ind., for physician recruitment services, authorities allege. Cardwell was head of physician recruitment at the 125-bed hospital. Plake never conducted any searches, as the company the checks were made out to, Plake and Associates, didn't exist, authorities said.
The company that manages recruitment money for Powell, HealthTech Management Services of Franklin, Tenn., filed a civil lawsuit against Cardwell in February. Earlier in March, Powell joined the civil suit and added Plake as a defendant.
The penalties could add up to 290 years of imprisonment and a $3.8 million fine as well as special assessment of $1,500 each for Cardwell and Plake, according to the indictment.
Powell and HealthTech both issued statements lauding authorities for the indictments against Cardwell and Plake.
"HealthTech trusts that justice ultimately will be served through the forthcoming federal criminal prosecution as well as through HealthTech’s civil complaint," a company news release read. "HealthTech looks forward to a timely and complete resolution of both matters."
Powell's next court date is scheduled for June 4. His attorney, Robert Horn, said the next court date would go as planned, but declined further comment. Sean Barrett, Plake's attorney, didn't immediately return a phone message seeking comment.