Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Has Olson Committed a Crime?

Federal Lying Statute—No Oath Required


Businesspersons must be especially aware of the federal lying statute contained in Title 18 of the U.S. Code Section 1001, which states that: “(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any judicial 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 or imprisoned not more than five years or both.”

Under this statute it is a crime to knowingly and willfully make any materially false statement concerning any matter within the jurisdiction of the United States. The falsehood must be material; but this requirement is met if the statement has the “natural tendency to influence or [is] capable of influencing the decision of the decision making body” which receives the false statement. This statute has an extraordinarily wide scope. Unlike perjury, the false statement need not be given under oath. Any statement, whether made orally or in writing, can violate this law.

The statements need not be made in a formal setting. Any false statement made to any federal agent is enough. This is true even if the statement was not recorded and no transcript was made. (Often the only evidence of the false statement consists of notes made by the federal agent). It is not necessary that the government actually be deceived or misled. Unlike obstruction of justice, there is no requirement that the person making the false statements be aware of a government proceeding and intend to interfere with that proceeding. In fact, it is not even a requirement that there be any sort of judicial or other government proceeding. Any false statement made to any federal employee can be sufficient to violate this law. Martha Stewart, for example, was convicted of this crime because she made false statements to employees of the FBI and the SEC. Her lies were not made in a formal interview, and the only evidence of what she said was in the notes and recollections of the federal employees involved.

In fact, this crime can be committed even without making any false statement to a federal employee. All that is required is that the false statements have some connection to some matter within the “jurisdiction of the…United States.” Persons who lie to state agencies can be convicted of this crime if statements to that state agency might influence the functioning of federal agencies.

People have been found guilty of this crime because they lied to private contractors hired by a federal agency. In April 2004, several executives at Computer Associates, the giant software company, were charged with this crime; three of them have pleaded guilty to the charges. They did not lie to any federal agent. Instead, they were charged with making false statements to attorneys working for Computer Associates who were conducting an internal investigation of allegations of improper conduct within the business. Since this internal investigation concerned activities that were within the jurisdiction of the United States, the government asserted that lies to the business’ attorneys were crimes. Prosecutors stated that the executives knew that their statements would be turned over to the government and because of this, they needed to tell the truth.

https://gbr.pepperdine.edu/2010/08/businesspersons-beware-lying-is-a-crime/

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Too bad nobody at the State Attorney's office cares to go after criminals capable of hiring good attorneys.

Anonymous said...

yes he has.

Anonymous said...

Can you guess which one isn't a Henny Youngman joke?


A Doctor gave a man six months to live. The man couldn't pay his bill, so he gave him another six months.


According to Fred Levin, The Mayor and Eric Olson are the victims of a crime.
Rape victims.

I asked my wife, "Where do you want to go for our anniversary?" She said, "Somewhere I have never been!" I told her, "How about the kitchen?"

You cant make this up Pensacola...

Anonymous said...

Hahaha