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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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False Declarations before Grand Jury or Court Federal Defense Lawyers

By Spodek Law Group | February 13, 2023
(Last Updated On: July 28, 2023)

Last Updated on: 28th July 2023, 07:22 pm

The Federal Crime of False Statements: What You Need to Know

False statements can be dangerous and have far-reaching legal consequences. The federal government has established laws to address the problem, including the False Statement Accountability Act, which makes it a federal crime to make a false statement to a federal agent related to a federal matter. Let’s explore what you need to know about this law and how it’s enforced.

The Three Branches of Government and False Statements

The legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal government frequently conduct hearings, inquiries, investigations, and other matters that require statements from individuals, both orally and in writing. However, when these individuals knowingly falsify statements, engage in a cover-up, or attempt to perpetrate fraud on the government, they may be prosecuted for the federal crime of False Statements.

What Constitutes a False Statement?

Under 18 U.S.C. § 1001, a false statement can be a material omission, a material misrepresentation, or using a fraudulent document. To be prosecuted, the person who makes the statement must have intended to deceive the government agent.

What Conduct Does 18 U.S.C. § 1001 Cover?

18 U.S.C. § 1001 defines the types of false statements that the statute covers. It applies to conduct that seeks to falsify, conceal, or cover up by trick, scheme, or device a material fact related to the government matter in question. It also covers the making of any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation, as well as the making or using of any false writing or document knowing that said document contains a materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry.

Prosecuting False Statement Cases

For a prosecutor to convict someone of a false statement under 18 U.S.C. § 1001, they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the statement was materially false, knowingly and willingly made, and made on a matter within the government’s jurisdiction. Most federal criminal courts require the prosecutor to prove that the person knew it was unlawful to make a false statement when they made it.

False Statement Exceptions

It’s important to note that 18 U.S.C. § 1001 does not apply to parties in judicial proceedings, or their attorneys. False claims made during Congressional testimony can potentially be prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. § 1001.

Fighting False Statement Charges

If you or a family member is facing false statement charges under 18 U.S.C. § 1001, it’s critical to have experienced federal criminal defense attorneys on your side. An experienced attorney can intervene before court proceedings begin to minimize the chances of a filing or negotiate the best possible resolution before the formal court process begins. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be negotiated with the government, they can represent you in a federal jury trial at which the government must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.


Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 1001 is a serious federal crime that can result in up to five years in federal prison, and certain enhancements can increase the maximum penalty to eight years in federal prison. If you’re facing false statement charges under this law, contact experienced counsel as soon as possible to protect your rights and defend against the charges.

Examples of False Statements under 18 U.S.C. § 1001

To illustrate the coverage of 18 U.S.C. § 1001, let’s consider a hypothetical example. Imagine a defendant is a witness in an administrative procedure before an executive branch agency. The defendant knows that his business stands to benefit tremendously if the agency takes a certain action with regard to its regulations.

Unfortunately for the defendant, he knows that he will be asked on the witness stand about an important fact related to his business, and that the agency is likely to deny the action he is hoping for once it learns of this important fact.

To ensure that he benefits financially, the defendant prepares a false ledger on his business’ letterhead and has his lawyer submit it as an exhibit. When questioned under oath, the defendant knowingly lies and pretends that the exhibit contains true information.

The defendant could be charged with two counts under 18 U.S.C. § 1001 – one for submitting the knowingly false document and one for knowingly making a false statement orally in his testimony.

Fighting False Statement Charges

If you or a family member has been indicted for or is being investigated for the federal crime of false statements pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1001, there are several defenses that an experienced attorney can use to fight the charges. These include:

Ignorance or Lack of Intent

To be convicted of false statements under 18 U.S.C. § 1001, you must have knowingly and willingly made a materially false statement. If you did not know the statement was false or lacked the intent to deceive the government agent, you may have a viable defense.

Immateriality of the Statement

The government must show that the false statement was material to the government matter in question. If the statement was not material or was tangential to the proceedings, you may have a defense.

Illegal Interrogation

If the government obtained the false statement through an illegal interrogation or other improper means, your attorney may be able to have the statement suppressed or excluded as evidence.


18 U.S.C. § 1001 false statements is a serious federal crime that can have severe consequences. If you’re facing charges under this law, it’s essential to have experienced counsel on your side to protect your rights and defend against the charges. An experienced attorney can work to minimize the chances of a filing or negotiate the best possible resolution before the formal court process begins. If the case proceeds to court, they can represent you in a federal jury trial, where the government must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Contact our experienced federal criminal defense attorneys for a consultation today.

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