Tallulah nurse sentenced in wheelchair kickback scamPhysician, businessman also face punishment in Medicare scheme

Published 11:18 am Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Tallulah nurse practitioner has been sentenced to more than a year in federal prison for her role in a Medicare kickback scheme.

Sylvia Redd, 57, whose office was at 900 Wyche St. in Tallulah, and Lonnie Walker, 63, owner of a motorized wheelchair business in Jackson, were sentenced Monday to 15 months in federal prison by Senior U.S. District Judge Tom S. Lee.

Dr. Earnest Rankin, 65, of Jackson, was also sentenced to five years of probation.

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The three were ordered to pay $997,225.52 total restitution.

Longwind Products and Services, owned by Walker, gave kickbacks to Redd and Rankin for every Medicare beneficiary who was referred to the company with a prescription for a motorized wheelchair, according to court documents.

Walker pleaded to conspiracy to violate the anti-kickback statute Jan. 7, 2010, U.S. Attorney spokeswoman Sheila Wilbanks said. Rankin’s guilty plea followed on June 23, and Redd pleaded guilty Sept. 26, Wilbanks said.