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904

Purpose of Statute

The purpose of 18 U.S.C. § 1001 is to prohibit deceptive practices aimed at frustrating or impeding the legitimate functions of government departments or agencies. See United States v. Tobon-Builes, 706 F.2d 1092, 1101 (11th Cir. 1983); Bryson v. United States, 396 U.S. 64 (1969) (statute prohibits the "perversion which might result from the deceptive practices described"). The statute is viewed as seeking to protect both the operation and the integrity of the government, and "covers all matters confided to the authority of an agency or department." United States v. Rogers, 466 U.S. 475, 479 (1984). The pre-1996 version of section 1001, however, may be limited by case law to the executive branch. In 1995, the Supreme Court reversed long-settled precedent in Hubbard v. United States, 115 S.Ct. 1754 (1995), and held that a court is neither a "department" nor an "agency" under §  1001. Although the Court's opinion left open the possibility that a judicial or legislative entity might still be considered an "agency" under section 1001, several courts have interpreted Hubbard broadly to mean that section 1001 applies only to false statements made to the executive branch. See, e.g., United States v. Dean, 55 F.3d 640 (D.C. Cir. 1995), cert. denied, 116 S.Ct. 1288 (1996); United States v. Rostenkowski, 59 F.3d 1291, 1301 (D.C. Cir. 1995). As of this writing, there is still pending in the District of Columbia Circuit an interlocutory appeal concerning whether the old version of section 1001, even after Hubbard, still applies to financial disclosure statements that Members of Congress filed, pursuant to the Ethics in Government Act, with the Clerk of the House of Representatives before October 11, 1996. See United States v. Oakar, No. 96-3084 (D.C. Cir.). Prosecutors therefore should not concede, in any pleadings or arguments presented in federal courts, that the old section 1001 does not apply to such statements, at least until the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decides this case.

[cited in USAM 9-42.001]