Business & Real Estate

Sacramento federal prosecutors obtain $4.9 million settlement over medical kickbacks

Federal prosecutors in Sacramento said Thursday they obtained a $4.9 million settlement from a German medical-device manufacturer accused of paying kickbacks to doctors.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Sacramento announced the settlement with Biotronik Inc., a maker of pacemakers, defibrillators and other devices. It was a federal crime because Medicare and Medicaid were billed for the products, prosecutors said.

A Sacramento law firm, Kershaw Cutter & Ratinoff, originated the case by filing a lawsuit against Biotronik five years ago on behalf of a company sales representative named Brian Sant. The lawsuit said doctors were given everything from cash to theater tickets as inducement to implant their patients with Biotronik’s devices.

Although the federal government then intervened and secured the settlement, prosecutors said Sant will collect $840,000 of the $4.9 million under the federal whistleblower law.

Sant used to work as a sales rep for Biotronik in Northern California, in a territory that included Sacramento, said J.R. Parker, a partner in the Kershaw firm.