In United States v. Shah, No. 19-12319 (William Pryor, Hull, Marcus), the Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction for receiving healthcare kickback payments.
The parties ultimately agreed that the statue requires no proof of the defendant’s motivation for accepting the kickbacks, so long as he accepts it knowingly and willfully. The Court agreed, though it distinguished the case of a payee (no motive required) from that of a payor (motive required). Although the jury instruction in this case was erroneous, the Court found that the error was harmless because, if anything, the instruction harmed the government by requiring the government to prove more than what was required, and the district court properly instructed the jury on willfulness.