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Hudson woman gets 3.5 years in prison for embezzling $1 million from Minnesota's Medicaid

A western Wisconsin woman has been sentenced to 3.5 years in prison, for embezzling over a million dollars from Minnesota's Medicaid program.

Kim Austen, 48, Hudson, will also be under supervision for three years when she's no longer behind bars.

Austen was a supervisor in Minnesota's Department of Human Services, where she arranged to give almost two dozen checks to a man who was not a Medicaid provider.

Prosecutors said Austen and others then used the money for personal items from 2003 through September of last year.

She was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Minneapolis, after striking a plea deal in which she pleaded guilty to one count health care fraud.

Medicaid is a federal and state program that provides numerous health services to low-income people.

Commissioner Cal Ludeman said his program has improved its internal controls to make sure a similar fraud won't happen again.