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Physician pleads guilty to role in kickback scheme

OXFORD — A Batesville physician has pleaded guilty to bribing then-Panola County administrator David Chandler with $25,000.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports 51-year-old Robert S. Corkern appeared before U.S. District Judge Neal B. Biggers Jr. in Oxford yesterday.

In taking the plea deal, Corkern avoids trial with two co-defendants, Raymond Shoemaker of Tupelo, a healthcare executive, and Lee Garner, a Batesville businessman, who were indicted Feb. 24.

All three were accused of varying roles with a multi-million-dollar healthcare kickback and bribery scheme generally focused on delivery of nursing services to Tri-Lakes Medical Center in Batesville.

Shoemaker and Garner are due to go on trial in Oxford on Feb. 21.

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