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Los Angeles Kickbacks Defense Lawyers

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A kickback is a form of bribery where the renumeration is disguised as part of normal business operations. For example, a doctor may be provided with large speaking fees by a pharmaceutical company in exchange for giving them preferential treatment by prescribing their drugs to his patients as frequently as possible.

Kickbacks occur in all types of public and private organizations, and conviction may result in strict state and federal penalties, including massive fines and serious jail time.

Due to the amount of money involved, federal prosecutors and investigators aggressively pursue cases involving kickbacks related to Medicaid, Medicare, and Tricare, the health care program for people serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The outstanding white collar crime defense attorneys at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP have earned a national reputation by representing clients in high-profile cases. We’ll find the best strategy to get your charges dismissed or reduced.

Call (213) 688-0460 to learn more today.

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What Are Kickbacks?

Kickbacks are illegal payments or transfers of money, favors, goods, services, or something of value in exchange for preferential treatment. The party who offers the kickback and the party that receives it are both subject to criminal prosecution.

Professionals who recommend services to others and people who make buying decisions for private businesses, government agencies, and charitable organizations can all be tempted to take kickbacks. Example include:

  • A stockbroker who receives cash for routing all client trades through the same exchange
  • A county comptroller who chooses a public works contractor because they built him a free swimming pool
  • A purchasing agent who buys goods at inflated prices from someone who gives his daughter a promotion
  • A board member for a charity who votes to do business with a company that she secretly has a stake in
  • A buyer for a company who chooses a supplier after they paid for his family vacation

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Kickbacks in the Healthcare Industry

Over 18 percent of the American GNP goes to healthcare, and a huge portion of these expenses are paid out by the federal government through Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare. The Federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) prohibits any remuneration for referral of goods or services that are reimbursed by a federal agency.

The pharmaceutical industry generates over 300 billion dollars in revenue every year. With so much money at stake, there are numerous opportunities for bribery and fraud.

Doctors, hospitals, laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, and others involved in the healthcare industry have all been subject to civil and criminal prosecution for offering or accepting kickbacks. Bristol-Myers Squibb was forced to pay a $515 million dollar settlement for providing doctors who prescribed their drugs with entertainment and other lavish rewards.

Examples of kickbacks in the healthcare industry include providing any of the following inducements in exchange for goods, services, prescriptions, or patient referrals:

  • Free or reduced rent or equipment use
  • Direct cash payments
  • Meals
  • Travel
  • Vacations
  • Gifts

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Penalties and Violations

A major component of healthcare fraud is accepting kickbacks for providing patient referrals. Under the Federal False Claims Act, it’s against the law to pay someone for referring patients who are receiving any type of services that are federally reimbursed.

Under the California Business and Professional Code Section 650, it’s unlawful to provide rebates, refunds, commissions, preference, patronage dividend, discounts, and other consideration in exchange for a patient referral.

Federal penalties for kickbacks include up to 5 years in prison per offense and fines of $50,000 or three times amount of kickback.

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Legal Defenses for Accepting Kickback

Although there are harsh penalties for defendants convicted of accepting kickbacks, these cases are often difficult to prove. Prosecutors must establish that the defendant knowingly accepted a reward in exchange for doing something illegal.

Your attorney will examine the prosecutor’s case, searching for inconsistencies and unproved allegations. Common defense strategies for defendants facing charges of accepting kickbacks include:

  • Unreliable prosecution witnesses
  • Witnesses against you have accepted a plea deal in exchange for their testimony
  • Lack of proof that there was any plan to defraud someone
  • Police misconduct
  • Unlawful collection of evidence

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Have You Been Charged with Accepting a Kickback in Los Angeles?

The experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP have earned a national reputation for excellence. Our firm has been featured on CBS News, CNN, ABC News, CNBC, Fox News, and the BBC.

Our team isn’t intimidated by anybody. We’ll stand up to zealous state and federal prosecutors to protect your freedom. Call (213) 688-0460 to schedule a case review today.

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Additional Information

Contact Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP Today
Phone: (213) 688-0460
Fax: (213) 624-1942

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