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914. Concealment--Failure to Disclose

Although 18 U.S.C. § 1001 is often referred to as a false statement statute, its scope extends beyond statements. The statute proscribes the acts of making false statements, falsifying, concealing or covering up. The statute also covers half-truths if there is a duty to speak the truth. See generally United States v. Lutwak, 195 F.2d 748 (7th Cir. 1948), aff'd, 344 U.S. 604 (1953).

Concealment and cover-up are essentially identical concepts and often result from falsification. These acts need not have any relation to a statement or representation. A concealment may involve a failure to disclose or partial disclosures of information required on an application form; however, when using such a theory, the government must prove that the defendant had a duty to disclose the facts in question at the time of the alleged concealment of them. United States v. Irwin, 654 F.2d 671, 678-79 (10th Cir. 1981), cert. denied, 455 U.S. 1016 (1982). Concealment may also involve a merely physical act of concealment such as transferring inspection stamps, changing numbers on bottles to conceal rejection, conceal use of certain drugs, or using false stamps to conceal ownership of tobacco. Some courts have required that the government be prepared to prove that the "concealment by trick" consisted of affirmative acts. United States v. London, 550 F.2d 206 (5th Cir. 1977).

[cited in USAM 9-42.001]

Updated May 26, 2015