When Federal Agents Want to Ask You Questions, Get Strong Legal Representation
I am an experienced criminal defense lawyer and I defend clients who have been charged with making false statements to the federal government. I also take steps to protect clients from ever facing these charges.
False Statements Are a Crime, Even Outside of the Courtroom
Most people do not realize that intentionally making a false statement to a federal government official is a crime. This is true even when:
- You are not in a courtroom
- You are not under oath
- The conversation is not recorded or manually transcribed
- The alleged false statement is not directly made to the government official
- You are not trying to cheat the government out of money
Don’t Let It Happen in the First Place
Two Against One: Federal agents almost always travel in pairs when they are investigating potential criminal activity. If you agree to speak to them, but later dispute their version of the conversation, the jury is more likely to believe two clean-cut federal agents over one individual who is suspected of wrongdoing.
It is extremely dangerous to submit to a government interview if you are a subject or target, even when you are represented by competent counsel. Careful thought should be given to submitting to such an interview, and preventative measures should be taken to minimize the chances of charges being brought.
A Solid Defense Strategy
If you have already been arrested on a false statement, such as making a false written or oral statement under Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001, I will explore whether prosecutors can prove that you intended to defraud the government and whether your statement was material to the matter at hand — both of which are typically essential elements to the alleged offense. I will also examine the seriousness of the allegedly false statement in order to help determine whether a misdemeanor charge would be more appropriate. In several situations, I have been able to convince federal prosecutors that my clients who were first-time offenders, and whose false statements were not serious in nature, were deserving of misdemeanor charges.
A History of Successful Defense
- A California businessman was indicted on two federal felony counts charging aggravated identity theft and false statements to SEC officials. I was hired after the indictment was returned. I negotiated a misdemeanor plea agreement and both felony counts were dismissed. The client was sentenced to three years probation.
- A senior bank official in Connecticut was named as a felony target in a federal bank fraud investigation. I negotiated a misdemeanor plea, and the client was sentenced to three years’ probation.
- The former employee of a federal contractor was named a felony target in a federal fraud investigation in Connecticut. I negotiated a misdemeanor plea. The client was sentenced to three years probation.
Charged With Making False Statements to Government Officials? Contact a Lawyer.
To arrange a consultation about your legal matter, feel free to contact me, white collar criminal defense attorney Solomon L. Wisenberg. From offices in Washington, D.C., I represent clients throughout the U.S.
To learn more, please review my article How to Avoid Going to Jail under 18 U.S.C. Section 1001 for Lying to Government Agents.