In a case of first impression with potentially far-reaching consequences, the Fifth Circuit has ruled that a contractor may be held vicariously liable for double damages under the Anti-Kickback Act (AKA) even when the kickback is taken by an employee, not the contractor. United States ex rel. Vavra, et al., v. Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc. (KBR), No. 12-40447 (5th Cir. Jul. 19, 2013). Thus, having first been victimized by a dishonest and disloyal employee, a contractor may then also suffer enhanced civil penalties in a lawsuit by a qui tam relator and/or the Department of Justice.
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