These cases are prosecuted more and more at the healthcare level and we're seeing a lot of physicians and doctors being charged both civilly and criminally where they're facing thousands of dollars of fines at the civil level and then the criminal prosecutors get their hands on the case and then the person is looking at not only fines, but also potential federal criminal custody time served at 85% of the time.
Prosecution of the Anti-Kickback Statute
However, if you abuse that and now offer kick-backs to people related to those programs, that's where the feds will swoop in. Not only are you facing penalties in a criminal court, you're also facing penalties. The federal Anti-Kickback Statute is defined under 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b.
This is where you will lose your medical license and lose the ability to participate in programs like Medicare, Medicaid and other federal plans and programs that provide federal health benefits.
What a lot of people will try to do is use what they call a safe harbor where there are certain arrangements that are lawful, but he feds are obviously looking past these safe harbors and attempting to crack into people who are basically kicking back money which is tied in to a federal program.
These kickbacks can take any type of form. It doesn't have to just be money. It can be anything of value which is a very broad definition.
The bottom line is, if you're in the health profession in any way and you're kicking back any money and the government finds out about it and they investigate you, take your files and start to take statements from people, you've got a real problem.
Retain a Federal Criminal Lawyer
You should get to an attorney right away. I wouldn't wait because waiting is going to give them a chance to kind of sink their teeth into the case against you and you may even do or say something that incriminates you.
With an attorney by your side, the attorney can act as your buffer between the federal agents and even the federal prosecutor and you. So, instead of you answering questions, your attorney will be the one talking to them, answering questions, and obviously doing the best they can not to say or do anything that puts you in any further situations.
If you're a physician or any type of healthcare provider looking at losing your license or losing your ability to work, losing your freedom, you definitely want to get an attorney on the case right away.
So, if you're being investigated or you've already been charged with a violation of the anti-kickback statute, pick up the phone now and we can start to talk about what can be done proactively to protect your rights, your freedom, your reputation, your license and everything that's important to you.
Sometimes there are innocent violations of this anti-kickback statute, but you want to make sure you sit down with a trained professional who's handled these type of cases before and make the right decision right from the beginning.
Hedding Law Firm is a federal criminal law firm located in Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0994.