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False Statements and False Claims

NCJ Number
American Criminal Law Review Volume: 45 Issue: 2 Dated: Spring 2008 Pages: 465-497
Laura Perry; Stephanie Salek
Date Published
33 pages
This article discusses civil and criminal provisions of Federal statutes that prohibit knowingly and willfully making a false statement or false claim to the United States or to any department or agency thereof.
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 thereof and to knowingly and willfully make a false statement to the United States or to any department or agency thereof. In addition, 31 U.S. Code sections 3729-33 enable the civil prosecution of false claims. Federal prosecutors have the discretion to choose the statute under which they prosecute fraud cases. The discussion of elements of a section-1001 offense addresses statements or concealments, falsity, materiality, intent, and jurisdiction. Also discussed are defenses to charges brought under section 1001. These include "exculpatory no" (denial of wrongdoing), ambiguity, double jeopardy, and other defenses. These defenses are discussed in terms of their likelihood of success under current case law. Sentencing under section 1001 is also discussed. A discussion of false claims considers elements of a section-287 offense, with attention to presentation of a claim; false, fictitious, or fraudulent claims; and knowledge. The discussion of defenses against charges brought under section 287 addresses intent-based defenses and double jeopardy. Enforcement provisions and sentencing under section 287 are also discussed. The article concludes with a review of civil prosecutions under 31 U.S. Code sections 3729-3733. 245 notes


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