Ronald Petersen, an ex-pastor from Bridgton who was found guilty of defrauding MaineCare by as much as $400,000, was sentenced to three years in prison on Friday and ordered to pay the money back to the state, according to court officials.

In November, a jury in York County Superior Court in Alfred found Petersen guilty of felony theft by deception for operating the Hope Recovery Center in Limerick. The center provided minimal substance abuse counseling services, but billed MaineCare as if it were a large counseling center.

MaineCare is the state’s Medicaid program. It uses federal and state money to provide medical services for low-income patients.

Petersen, 57, did not testify in his defense, but according to a 2012 police interview, he told detectives that “God told him” to start Hope Recovery Center, on the grounds of the Faith Christian Center, where Petersen was the associate pastor. He claimed to have used the money for humanitarian purposes, but investigators found that some of the funds were used to pay himself a $189,000 salary and buy jewelry, a house, plane tickets and other items.

Petersen was also sentenced to three years of probation, and is expected to report to prison by March 2.