Federal Criminal False Claim Crimes

There are several criminal statutes that target false claims and services against the federal government.  They are contained in Chapter 15 of Title 18 of the Federal Criminal Code.  The primary statute is Title 18 United States Code Section 287 which criminalizes any knowingly false claim made upon or against any department of the United states government.

18 U.S.C.  § 287

In a federal criminal false claim case, the government has to establish that the defendant:

  1. Made or gave false, fictitious, or fraudulent claim to a department of the United States;
  2. Knew such claim was wrong, untrue or deceptive; and
  3. Did so with the specific intent to break the law or with a consciousness that what he was doing was unlawful.
  4. The penalty for violating this statute is up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.

White-Collar Crime

Government fraud is a federal offense and can include actions such as:

  • Fraud involving  federal government contracting;
  • Fraud involving federally-funded entitlement programs (e.g., public housing, agricultural programs);
  • Defense procurement fraud;
  • Fraud involving educational programs;
  • Corporate Frauds;
  • The use of bribery in contracts or procurement matters;
  • False certification of the quality of parts or test results;
  • Collusion among contractors;
  • Fraudulent or double billing; and
  • Substitution of incorrect or inferior parts.

Other so-called White Collar Crimes include:

  • Tax evasion
  • Insider trading
  • Embezzlement
  • Money laundering
  • Insurance fraud
  • Bribery

What to Know about Federal Crimes and How to Defend Offenders

Richard Berne is a Portland, Maine federal defense attorney. If you are charged with a federal crime there are certain important differences from facing a state criminal charge.  Among them are:

  • Federal criminal statutes differ from corresponding state statutes in many important ways.
  • Generally speaking, the penalties authorized in federal statutes are  harsher than those of the state in which the crime was committed.
  • The Rules of Criminal Procedure are also markedly different from state rules resulting in hearings and trials which are far more formal and rigorous in federal cases.
  • The sentencing process in federal cases is far more complex and rigid in federal court where sentences are pursuant to the United States Sentencing Guidelines.  Thus it is imperative that your retain an attorney with experience with these guidelines to ensure the best outcome.
  • Mr. Berne was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York and the Northern District of California. During his four plus years of service, he prosecuted all types of federal criminal cases. Since then he has defended countless individuals in federal criminal cases in federal courts in New England and elsewhere.  As a result, he is an expert in the areas of federal crimes, criminal procedure, and federal sentencing jurisprudence.
  • Attorney Richard S. Berne has succeeded in obtaining sentences for his clients below the guideline sentencing range in practically every federal criminal case with which he handled since the guidelines became advisory, not mandatory, under federal law in 2005.
  • In one of the federal cases Mr. Bernes has handled, his job was to represent a client charged after a significant federal white-collar fraud charge. His client received a deferred prosecution agreement and later, a dismissal of all charges.

The Law Offices of Richard Berne, Portland, Maine

Federal criminal defense requires specialized expertise and experience. Call to request a free consultation today. The sooner you call, the better the chance of a positive outcome.