(916) 974-3500

False Statements and False Claims

Sections 287 and 1001 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code make it a crime to knowingly make a false claim upon or against the United States or to any department or agency, and to knowingly and willfully make a false statement to the United States or to any department or agency.

A 1001 violation (which has now been termed a “Martha Stewart crime”) concerns making a false statement to a federal agent during an investigation.  You can still be convicted of lying to an agent, even though you might not be guilty of the crime originally investigated.  This area is a trap for the unwary.

In order to be convicted for making a false statement, the government must prove that a person knowingly and willfully made a material statement or concealment that was false to any of the three branches of the federal government.

Common false statement crimes involve false information given to federal investigators, false invoices and certifications, checks naming false drawees, false applications to obtain official documents, false identifications given to border or customs agents, false Medicare claims, false marriage vows to gain citizenship, and a variety of false statements made to other governmental entities.

In order to be convicted for making a false claim, the government must prove that a person knowingly presented a false, fictitious, or fraudulent claim to the United States or an agency or a department.  Such false claims crimes include federal income tax fraud, Medicare and Medicaid fraud, fraud against the Department of Defense, making false claims to the United States Department of Agriculture, and making false claims to government programs.