Ocean Springs doctor accused of exchanging prescriptions for cash; escort services

Ocean Springs doctor accused of exchanging prescriptions for cash; escort services

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - An Ocean Springs doctor is behind bars after allegedly exchanging controlled substance prescriptions for cash, and escort services.

According to court documents, Dr. Michael Jay Loebenberg, employed by the Digestive Health Center, P.A. at the time, was contacted by a confidential source on Jan. 19 for a prescription. Loebenberg was out of town at the time, but agreed to give the prescriptions to the source for an undisclosed amount of cash.

From Jan. to June 8, 2016, three undercover operations were conducted by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

On Jan. 29, Loebenberg met the source in the parking lot a Biloxi shopping center at the corner of Cedar Lake and Popp's Ferry roads. Agents witnessed the source get into Loebenberge's silver BMW, where he wrote a prescription for 90 doses of hydrocodone in exchange for $40.

Three months later on April 5, the confidential source met Loebenberg in the parking lot of an Ocean Springs restaurant on Hwy 90. In a text message earlier that day, the doctor reportedly told the source that "....he would need to be careful with his license....", and agreed to prescribe 60 pills for $40.

Loebenberg, who arrived to the parking lot in a blue Dodge Ram, was seen getting into the back seat of the source's car. There, the source bought five prescriptions for controlled substances: two 60 dosage units of Norco, three 30 dosage units of Adipex (Phentermine) and a third Adipex prescription for a person who was not there during the transaction.

In total, Loebenberg received $200 for the prescriptions during the second transaction.

In the third meeting, Loebenberg met an undercover in the same Ocean Springs parking lot on June 8; arriving in a red Audi. While in the front seat of the undercover's vehicle, the doctor wrote five prescriptions: two 60 dosage units of Norco, three 60 dosage adderall prescriptions for an undercover who was not present.

After being paid $200, Loebenberg told the undercover agent that in the future he would have to prescribe the medicine in the office so that he could make a file, in case the pharmacy called to verify the prescriptions.

Investigators learned that Loebenberg was fired from the Digestive Health Center, P.A. on or before Aug. 8.

Loebenberg had an initial appearance in court on Sept. 1, where he requested a preliminary hearing. The hearing was scheduled for Sept. 7 at 3 p.m., an unsecured bond was set at $25,000, and Loebenberg was released.

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