(a)(1) The United States may, in a civil action, recover a civil penalty from any person who knowingly engages in conduct prohibited by section 53 of this title. The amount of such civil penalty shall be—
(A) twice the amount of each kickback involved in the violation; and
(B) not more than $10,000 for each occurrence of prohibited conduct.
(2) The United States may, in a civil action, recover a civil penalty from any person whose employee, subcontractor or subcontractor employee violates section 53 of this title by providing, accepting, or charging a kickback. The amount of such civil penalty shall be the amount of that kickback.
(b) A civil action under this section shall be barred unless the action is commenced within 6 years after the later of (1) the date on which the prohibited conduct establishing the cause of action occurred, and (2) the date on which the United States first knew or should reasonably have known that the prohibited conduct had occurred.
(Mar. 8, 1946, ch. 80, §5, as added Pub. L. 99–634, §2(a), Nov. 7, 1986, 100 Stat. 3524.)
Section effective with respect to conduct described in section 53 of this title which occurs on or after Nov. 7, 1986, see section 3(a) of Pub. L. 99–634, set out as an Effective Date of 1986 Amendment note under section 51 of this title.