False Statement to Federal Agents | 18 U.S.C. § 1001

July 10, 2016

It is a federal crime to give a false statement to the federal government.  This includes the FBI, DEA, SEC, or other government entity within the jurisdiction of the United States.  This is commonly labeled as “Lying to the Feds.”  Unlike perjury, giving a false statement to the feds need not occur while testifying in court.  Simply offering false information or intentionally concealing information will suffice to warrant a federal indictment.

Charged under 18 U.S.C. § 1001, the statute proscribes three types of unlawful conduct:

  1. Falsifying, concealing, or covering up of a material fact by any trick, scheme, or device;
  1. Making a false fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation;
  1. Making or using any false writing or document.[1]

For example, in a criminal tax cases, the statute is often employed when a false document or statement is submitted or made to the Internal Revenue Service during an audit or investigation.[2]  Another typical example occurs when a suspect or witness intentionally provides false information to FBI agents during an investigation into drug trafficking charges.  Consequently, a violation is punishable up to five years in federal prison.  If the matter involves international or domestic terrorism, a conviction carries up to eight years in federal prison.[3]


If you’ve been indicted or are under investigation for making a false statement to the federal government, there’s no question that early intervention by a Federal Defense Attorney is necessary.  Contact the Law Offices of John D. Rogers for a free consultation.  Our office handles federal matters nationwide.




[1] (a)Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully— (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry; shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both. If the matter relates to an offense under chapter 109A, 109B, 110, or 117, or section 1591, then the term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be not more than 8 years.

[2] See, e.g., United States v. Protch, 481 F2d 647, 648 (3d Cir. 1973) (false affidavit given to IRS agent).

[3] See above definition of 18 U.S.C. § 1001

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