SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A registered nurse from Fair Oaks pleaded guilty Thursday to working with the owners of a home health company to pay and receive illegal kickbacks in exchange for Medicare referrals, according to the Department of Justice.

Court documents reveal John Eby, 46, worked as a case manager at a nonprofit hospital in Sacramento where he was responsible for helping patients on Medicare choose post-acute care providers, such as home health care and hospice agencies after they were discharged.

According to court documents, Eby was paid kickbacks by the home health agency owners for referring the patients to agencies in Folsom and El Dorado Hills. The activity happened between Sept. 2015 and Nov. 2018.

Eby referred approximately 55 Medicare patients to the agencies in exchange for kickbacks, and court documents show Medicare paid the agencies around $250,000 for the services they provided to the patients. But, since the agencies got the patients illegally, they should not have received reimbursement from Medicare.

Eby also pleaded guilty to accepting $1,000 kickback for referring five Medicare patients to an agency in Folsom.

He is due back in court for sentencing on Jan. 9. Eby faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy charge and 10 years for the kickback charge. Additionally, he faces a maximum fine of $250,000.

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