The federal “Anti-Kickback Statute,” found at 42 U.S.C. § 1320a prohibits the knowing and willful solicitation or receipt of any remuneration in return for referring an individual to another to receive goods or services that will be paid for by a federal health care program.
The Government must satisfy the following 4 elements to succeed in a prosecution under this statute:
1) existence of remuneration (which can include anything of value, such as cash, free goods or services, elimination of debt, or bartering);
2) the remuneration was offered, paid, solicited, or received;
3) the defendant acted knowingly and willfully; and
4) the defendant acted to induce federal program referrals or in exchange for them.
If found guilty under the Anti-Kickback Statute, a defendant can be imprisoned for up to 5 years and face a fine up to $25,000 for each count. Further, a defendant could be barred from participation in any federal health care programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.