Federal prosecutors are moving to lop a year off the seven-year sentence now being served by an Irmo embezzler who stole some $1.9 million from the clinic where she worked.
In legal papers filed in federal court, acting U.S. Attorney Beth Drake said Chandra Padgett had provided “valuable, substantial and unrewarded” cooperation in helping the government take steps to recover money from the same Irmo clinic where she worked for years before her 2014 arrest by federal agents.
Currently, Padgett, 48, is serving her sentence at Alderson federal prison in West Virginia. She is scheduled for release in September 2020. But if the government’s request is granted, Padgett will be freed a year early.
It will be up to U.S. Judge Joe Anderson to decide whether to grant the government’s motion.
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Drake and assistant U.S. attorney DeWayne Pearson told the judge that Padgett had provided information indicating that Advanced Pain Therapies, the clinic from which she she had stolen nearly $2 million, “had engaged in systemic over billing to Medicaid,” the government lawyers said in the motion.
Although prosecutors declined to charge the clinic with a criminal violation, Padgett’s information proved helpful, according to the motion, which did not say exactly how, if any, money was recovered.
During her years at the clinic, Padgett was an accountant, office manager and billing coordinator. The clinic took in hundreds of thousands of Medicaid dollars each year.
She embezzled the money in two major ways, according to evidence in the case. Padgett submitted false invoices from a shell company she created and controlled. She also increased her salary without authorization, prosecutors said.
Alderson is a minimum-security prison for women. Its celebrity inmates have included television personality and businesswoman Martha Stewart. Stewart served five months there for obstruction of justice in a insider trading deal.