False Statements and False Claims

Date01 July 2022
AuthorAbby Rickeman,Isabel Hagood,Emilee Lewis
FALSE STATEMENTS AND FALSE CLAIMS
I. INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 793
II. FALSE STATEMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 795
A. Elements of a § 1001 Offense. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 797
1. Statements or Concealments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 797
2. Falsity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 799
3. Intent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800
4. Materiality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 802
5. Jurisdiction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 802
B. Section 1001 Defenses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 805
1. Ambiguity and Literal Truth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 805
2. Double Jeopardy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 806
3. Recantation and Other Defenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 807
4. Guidance Against Charging Exculpatory No. . . . . . . . . 809
C. Sentencing Under § 1001 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 810
III. FALSE CLAIMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 812
A. Elements of a § 287 Offense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 813
1. Presentation of a Claim Against the United States . . . . . . 814
2. False, Fictitious, or Fraudulent Claims . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 816
3. Knowledge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 816
B. Section 287 Defenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 818
1. Intent-Based Defenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 818
2. Double Jeopardy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 819
C. Sentencing Under § 287 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 820
I. INTRODUCTION
Sections 1001 and 287 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code criminalize the same basic
conduct: lying to the government. Section 1001 prohibits knowingly and willfully
making a false statement in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive
branch and in certain matters within the jurisdiction of the congressional and judi-
cial branches.
1
Section 287 proscribes knowingly making a false claim upon or
against the United States, or any of its departments or agencies.
2
1. 18 U.S.C. § 1001.
2. Id. § 287.
793
The two criminal statutes contain similar elements,
3
which often enables prose-
cutors to bring fraud cases under either statute.
4
For example, Medicare fraud can
be prosecuted under § 1001 or § 287, among other statutes.
5
Moreover, because the
statutes’ language demonstrates that Congress intended to create two distinct viola-
tions, prosecuting a defendant for a single act under both § 1001 and § 287 does
not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
6
Although prosecutors may use both statutes to charge the same or similar con-
duct, there are significant differences between the statutes. For example, while
materiality is an element of § 1001,
7
the circuit courts are split on whether it is an
element of § 287.
8
In addition, § 1001 requires the prosecutor to prove that the de-
fendant both knowingly and willfully lied to the government;
9
but, in certain cir-
cuits, § 287 requires only that the defendant acted knowingly.
10
Furthermore,
§ 287’s jurisdictional hook reaches department[s] or agenc[ies]of the United
States,
11
whereas § 1001 applies to statements made in any matter within the
3. Compare United States v. Whyte, 918 F.3d 339, 350 n.12 (4th Cir. 2019) (To prove false claims under 18
U.S.C. § 287, the Government must show: (1) the defendant knowingly made or presented a claim to any federal
agency and (2) the defendant knew that such claim was false, fictitious, or fraudulent.), with United States v.
Sampson, 898 F.3d 287, 305 n.13 (2d Cir. 2018) (To secure a conviction under [18 U.S.C. § 1001], the
government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the 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, (4) with knowledge that it was false or fictitious or fraudulent.’
(quoting United States v. Litvak, 808 F.3d 160, 170 (2d Cir. 2015))).
4. See W. Bruce Shirk, Bennett D. Greenberg & William S. Dawson III, Truth or Consequences: Expanding
Civil and Criminal Liability for the Defective Pricing of Government Contracts, 37 CATH. U. L. REV. 935, 985–
86 (1988) (suggesting a set of hypothetical facts that could support a conviction under both 18 U.S.C. § 1001 and
18 U.S.C. § 287); see also Julie R. O’Sullivan, The Federal Criminal ‘Code’ Is a Disgrace: Obstruction Statutes
as Case Study, 96 J. CRIM. L. & CRIMINOLOGY 643, 653–55 (2006) (stating that because of redundancy in the
federal criminal code, including redundancies in sections pertaining to false statements, prosecutors “have the
ability to pick and choose among a smorgasbord of statutes that might apply to given criminal conduct”).
5. See, e.g., Brandon v. Anaesthesia & Pain Mgmt. Assocs., Ltd., 277 F.3d 936, 941 (7th Cir. 2002)
(discussing that Medicare fraud is covered by several federal felony statutes).
6. See United States v. Allen, 13 F.3d 105, 109 (4th Cir. 1993) (holding that punishing a single act via
convictions under both statutes does not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause); see also U.S. CONST. amend.
V (No person shall . . . be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.).
7. See 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(1)(3); see also H.R. REP. NO. 104-680, at 8 (1996), as reprinted in 1996 U.S.C.C.
A.N. 3935, 3942 (containing statement in § 1001’s legislative history that the express requirement that all three
offenses [in § 1001] have materiality as an element resolves a conflict among circuits as to whether materiality is
an element of all three offenses).
8. See United States v. Newell, 658 F.3d 1, 1617 (1st Cir. 2011) (declining to decide whether the First Circuit
requires materialityunder § 287 and noting that although the Fourth and Eighth Circuits have read materiality
into§ 287, the Fifth, Ninth, Tenth, and Second Circuits have declined to do so and the Third Circuit has ruled
that materiality sometimes is an element under § 287); see also U.S. DEPT OF JUST., CRIM. RES. MANUAL § 922,
https://www.justice.gov/archives/jm/criminal-resource-manual-922-elements-18-usc-287 (last visited Jan. 13,
2022) [hereinafter CRIMINAL RESOURCE MANUAL] (discussing circuit split).
9. See 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a).
10. See infra Section III.A.3 (discussing intent); see also CRIMINAL RESOURCE MANUAL, supra note 8, § 922
(discussing division of circuits on the issue of whether willfulness is an essential element of § 287).
11. 18 U.S.C. § 287.
794 AMERICAN CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW [Vol. 59:793

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