By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – A change-of-plea hearing is set Monday for Dr. Robert S. Corkern of Batesville in a multi-million-dollar federal medical fraud case.
A new court document sets a 1:15 p.m. hearing for him before Senior U.S. District Judge Neal B. Biggers Jr. in the Oxford federal courthouse.
Because Corkern pleaded not guilty to multiple counts on Oct. 11, the change apparently will be to plead guilty to at least one of the counts against him.
A federal indictment accused him of conspiracy to defraud the U.S., three counts of loan and credit application fraud and one count of bribery involving federal programs.
He was scheduled for a Feb. 21 trial start with co-defendants Raymond L. Shoemaker, a Tupelo health care executive, and Earnest Levi “Lee” Garner Jr., a Batesville businessman.
All are accused in a scheme revolving around the use of federal funds while Shoemaker was an executive at Tri-Lakes Medical Center in Batesville.
Corkern purchased the hospital from the city and Panola County.
In December, his attorneys asked that he be separated from trial with the others.
David Chandler, once Panola County’s administrator, pleaded guilty recently to an unrelated charge. He is listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the hospital case and is expected to testify at trial.