New York Federal False Statements Lawyer
Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1001, it is a crime punishable by up to five years imprisonment – and even eight years imprisonment under certain circumstances – to intentionally lie to or mislead federal agents, including officials from the SEC, DEA, FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office. Even if you were not placed under oath at the time you made the statement at issue and it occurred during brief, informal questioning, you can still be charged and convicted of this crime.
Due to its broad reach, 18 U.S.C. § 1001 is widely relied upon by prosecutors to ensnare defendants when their other charges are weak and might fail to result in a conviction. However, hiring a top federal criminal attorney may allow you to be spared from prison upon such a conviction. A seasoned New York federal false statements lawyer could work tirelessly to contest the allegations against you and help you pursue the best possible outcome in your case.
What Constitutes a False Statement to a Federal Agent?
Under 18 U.S.C. §1001, there are three specific actions that individuals cannot knowingly and intentionally engage in during “any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States”:
- Falsifying, concealing, or obscuring by any means a fact material to the case in question
- Making any kind of fraudulent or fictitious statement to a federal employee or agent working on the case in question
- Submitting a document to a federal employee or agent working on the case in question that contains false statements or information
Importantly, the submission of statements and/or documents by parties involved in judicial proceedings to the judge overseeing that proceeding cannot constitute a violation of 18 U.S.C. §1001. Additionally, in matters over which the legislative branch has jurisdiction, 18 U.S.C. §1001 only applies to administrative matters and investigations involving or undertaken by Congress. An experienced New York attorney could determine if someone’s action constitutes giving a false statement under federal law.
What are the Penalties for Giving a False Statement?
Under most circumstances, this offense is punishable by a maximum of five years in federal prison. However, the maximum applicable penalty upon conviction is eight years in prison if someone intentionally and knowingly makes a false statement to a federal agent or agency regarding any of the following types of offenses:
- Domestic or international terrorism
- Sexual abuse of an adult
- Violation of federal sex offender registration requirements
- Sexual exploitation and/or abuse of children
- Sex trafficking
What Is Required for a Conviction?
To secure a conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 1001, “the government must prove that a defendant knowingly and willfully made a materially false or fraudulent statement in relation to a matter within the jurisdiction of a department or agency of the United States [and] (4) with knowledge that it was false or fictitious or fraudulent.” United States v. Coplan, 703 F.3d 46, 78 (2d Cir. 2012). Further, “[a] statement is material within the meaning of § 1001 if it has a natural tendency to influence, or is capable of influencing, the decision of the decision making body to which it was addressed.” United States v. Adekanbi, 675 F.3d 178, 182 (2d Cir. 2012) (internal quotation marks omitted).
Federal courts have given prosecutors wide latitude to charge seemingly innocuous statements as criminal. As a result, § 1001 has often been characterized as a catch-all statute and of particular use to the government when prosecutors are unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime related to the allegedly false statement occurred.
Because of how this offense is approached by many federal prosecutors, effectively contesting this kind of allegation is usually a matter of disproving one of the key elements of the offense. Depending on the circumstances, this could entail arguing that the defendant did not know they were making a false statement, did not willfully intend to mislead any federal authority, or actually made a materially truthful statement. Our seasoned lawyers in New York could help someone build their defense in a false statements case.
Call Our New York Federal False Statements Attorneys Today
The effect of a conviction for making false statements to a federal agent can be devastating. In addition to significant jail time, an individual who holds a professional license, such as an attorney, securities broker, or doctor, may also risk losing their livelihood if convicted.
Given these extremely harsh consequences, hiring one of the best New York federal false statements lawyer who is familiar with this offense must be retained. Our lawyers have successfully handled many of these cases, so call today for a free consultation.