Company vicariously liable for its employees’ kickbacks.

A remedy provision of the Anti-Kickback Statute provides: “The Federal Government in a civil action may recover from a person that knowingly engages in conduct prohibited by section [53] of this title a civil penalty equal to— (A) twice the amount of each kickback involved in the violation; and (B) not more than $[11,000] for each occurrence of prohibited conduct . . . .”  41 U.S.C. § 55(a)(1). In United States v. Kellogg Brown & Root, the Fifth Circuit found that the provision allows a suit against an employer for its employees’ acts.  No. 12-40447 (July 19, 2013).  The Court grounded its analysis in common-law agency principles, and distinguished an earlier case that imposed a “purpose to benefit [the] employer” requirement in a somewhat analogous situation under the False Claims Act, United States v. Ridglea State Bank, 357 F.2d 495 (5th Cir. 1966).

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