Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dr. Earnest Rankin Pleads Guilty in Kickback Scheme


On June 23, 2011, Dr. Earnest Rankin, age 64, pleaded guilty to count one of an indictment which charged him with violating the anti-kickback statute (Title 18, United States Code, Section 371), announced Daniel McMullen, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Jackson Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and John Dowdy, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi. Dr. Rankin’s private family medical practice is located on Bailey Avenue in Jackson, Mississippi.

Before the Honorable Judge Tom S. Lee, United States District Court, Southern District of Mississippi, Rankin stipulated that he and a co-conspirator conspired with each other to receive kickbacks from Longwind Products and Services, a supplier of wheelchairs, in the following manner: Medicare Beneficiaries were recruited to receive Certificates of Medical Necessity from Dr. Rankin. Dr. Rankin would then refer the beneficiaries to Longwind for a power wheelchair. Dr. Rankin issued these Certificates when, in fact, the beneficiaries were not medically eligible to receive a Medicare-funded power wheelchair. Dr. Rankin received a kickback for each Longwind wheelchair and has agreed to make full restitution to Medicare. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 15, 2011, and faces up to five years in prison.

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