Whoever makes or presents to any person or officer in the civil, military, or naval service of the United States, or to any department or agency thereof, any claim upon or against the United States, or any department or agency thereof, knowing such claim to be false, fictitious, or fraudulent, shall be imprisoned not more than five years and shall be subject to a fine in the amount provided in this title.
Historical and Revision Notes
Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §80 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §35, 35 Stat. 1095; Oct. 23, 1918, ch. 194, 40 Stat. 1015; June 18, 1934, ch. 587, 48 Stat. 996; Apr. 4, 1938, ch. 69, 52 Stat. 197).
Section 80 of title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., was divided into two parts. That portion making it a crime to present false claims was retained as this section. The part relating to false statements is now section 1001 of this title.
To clarify meaning of "department" words "agency" and "or agency" were inserted after it. (See definitions of "department" and "agency" in section 6 of this title.)
Words "or any corporation in which the United States of America is a stockholder" which appeared in two places were omitted as unnecessary in view of definition of "agency" in section 6 of this title.
The words "five years" were substituted for "ten years" to harmonize the punishment provisions of comparable sections involving offenses of the gravity of felonies, but not of such heinous character as to warrant a 10-year punishment. (See sections 914, 1001, 1002, 1005, 1006 of this title.)
Reference to persons causing or procuring was omitted as unnecessary in view of definition of "principal" in section 2 of this title.
Minor changes in phraseology were made.
1986—Pub. L. 99–562 substituted "imprisoned not more than five years and shall be subject to a fine in the amount provided in this title" for "fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both".
Increased Penalties for False Claims in Defense Procurement
Pub. L. 99–145, title IX, §931(a), Nov. 8, 1985, 99 Stat. 699, provided that: "Notwithstanding sections 287 and 3623 of title 18, United States Code, the maximum fine that may be imposed under such section for making or presenting any claim upon or against the United States related to a contract with the Department of Defense, knowing such claim to be false, fictitious, or fraudulent, is $1,000,000."
[Pub. L. 99–145, title IX, §931(c), Nov. 8, 1985, 99 Stat. 699, provided that section 931(a) is applicable to claims made or presented on or after Nov. 8, 1985.]