Making false statements is considered a federal crime

On Behalf of | Oct 8, 2021 | Federal Crimes

In Pennsylvania, you can be charged with a federal crime if you are found to be making false statements. If you have been arrested for this offense, it’s important to know what it means and how it can impact you.

What constitutes false statements?

Making false statements by lying in court or to the IRS, for example, is considered a crime against the government and carries serious repercussions. A person might be charged with making false statements if they willingly and knowingly do the following:

• Cover up or lie about any fact, scheme or device.
• Make false or fraudulent statements or deliberately misrepresent facts.
• Create false documentation while knowing it’s false or fraudulent.

When a person is involved in some type of white-collar crime, they might not face conviction for the crime itself but for making false statements about it. In some cases, a person who is testifying during legislative hearings who deliberately lie or falsifies information may end up being charged with false statements.

What are the elements of the crime of false statements?

To convict someone of the federal crime of false statements, the prosecution is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that certain elements are in place. They include the following:

• The individual made a false statement or submitted falsified documents during a proceeding.
• The person acted in a willful manner.
• The false statement was made to influence a decision or activity.

What are the penalties for false statements?

As making false statements is prosecuted at the federal level, the penalties are harsh for a conviction. A person can receive up to five years in prison and a fine as high as $250,000. If the false statements made involve terrorism, the individual can face as long as eight years in prison. To avoid these penalties, it’s important to mount a defense against the charges.