Physician accused of offering pills in exchange for escorts

Federal officials charge a Mississippi physician offered to illegally trade prescriptions for escort services and later sold prescriptions for money to the escort and an undercover agent.

Dr. Michael Loebenberg of Ocean Springs was charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute controlled drugs in federal court Thursday in Gulfport. He was released on $25,000 bail and is scheduled to return for a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

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Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Lt. Mary Flinchum swore out the criminal charge alleging an escort told investigators in January that Loebenberg had offered to write a prescription in exchange for escort services. Agents then set up three separate meetings in January, April and June where they said Loebenberg wrote illegal prescriptions for hydrocodone and other drugs for a total of $440.