Lon Butikofer

The former head of a northeast Iowa hospital is changing his plea in a fraud case to guilty.

Lon Butikofer is the former CEO of Regional Medical Center in Manchester. He was charged with first-degree theft and first-degree fraudulent practices after the State Auditor’s Office discovered he and a fellow hospital employee accumulated over $256,000 in expenses for personal trips they claimed were for business.

The investigation spanned eight years, from January 2009 to March 2017. Butikofer and RMC’s former System Fund Development Director Mike Briggs were arrested in June. Butikofer had originally pleaded not guilty. He recently changed his plea to guilty, which was accepted on Tuesday.

He faces up to ten years in prison. Sentencing has been set for December 3rd in Delaware County District Court.

(By Janelle Tucker, KMCH, Manchester)