By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
ABERDEEN – Former Panola County Administrator David Chandler is on the federal docket, again, for sentencing in a fraud-embezzlement scheme.
Chandler, 57, pleaded guilty to two counts last Dec. 14 before U.S. District Court Judge Sharion Aycock.
But when he came before her a month ago to be sentenced, Aycock apparently wanted more time to consider his punishment and delayed it.
Thursday, a Feb. 28 date was set for that purpose. He could be sentenced up to 30 years in prison and fined up to $500,000, as well as ordered to pay restitution.
Chandler was not indicted regarding a hospital bribery-kickback scheme that landed former Tupelo businessman Ray Shoemaker in a federal prison.
For a time, Chandler was chairman of the board of Tri-Lakes Medical Center in Batesville, where Shoemaker was a top executive.
Chandler was the government’s main witness against Shoemaker, and the government may ask for leniency for him.
Shoemaker has appealed his conviction.
Chandler pleaded guilty to charges brought in what’s called an “information,” accusations brought directly by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in a plea deal, rather than a grand jury indictment.
In his original indictment, dated May 20, 2010, he was charged with 26 counts, including fraud, money laundering and embezzlement.
If convicted on all those counts, he faced up to 510 years in prison and multi-millions in fines.
His indictment was dismissed Feb. 22 after his guilty plea.