Making False Statements
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 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. Indeed, 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. For example, a conviction for lying to federal agents is precisely the crime that landed Martha Stewart in prison - and not her widely alleged, yet uncharged, insider trading activity - although hiring a top New York criminal attorney can allow you to be spared from prison upon such a conviction.
Put simply, in order to secure a conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 1001, "the government must prove that a defendant (1) knowingly and willfully (2) made a materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement (3) 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). In interpreting these provisions, federal courts have given prosecutors wide latitude to charge seemingly innocuous statements as criminal - characterizing § 1001 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.Call Top Federal Criminal 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 his livelihood if convicted. Given these extremely harsh consequences, hiring one of the best New York federal criminal defense attorneys who is familiar with this offense must be retained if you or a loved one has been charged with a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001 - there is no other way to ensure that any and all viable defenses will be exploited. Lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman have successfully handled many of these cases, achieving the best possible result for our clients. Contact us today at (212) 581-1001 for a free consultation.