What is a False, Fictitious, or Fraudulent Claim?
A false, fictitious, or fraudulent claim is any claim brought for the purpose of defrauding another. In Oklahoma, filing a false, fictitious, or fraudulent claim against the state is defined as knowingly making or presenting any false, fictitious, or fraudulent claim for the payment of any public funds from the state of Oklahoma or any of its departments or entities.
It is also a false claim to knowingly make any materially false or fraudulent statement upon an employment application for employment with the state of Oklahoma. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 358
A prosecutor must prove that:
- a person is making, presenting or causing the making or presenting;
- of a false, fictitious or fraudulent claim for money from the State of Oklahoma; and
- the person knows the claim is false, fictitious or fraudulent. OUJI-CR 3-35
For purposes of this statute, false means that the documents are either partially or fully fabricated or made up. Fictitious means imaginatively made-up facts. Fraudulent means either the false suggestion of facts or the suppression of the truth done through trick or another unfair way in order to cheat.
How These Cases Arise
These cases arise both in the pursuit of payment from governmental programs and the avoidance of payment rightfully owed to governmental programs. Filing a fictitious or false claim can arise in a broad array of situations, from governmental financial and medical assistance, to the misrepresentation of financial need on an assistance application. If you over-bill the state for services or goods, you can be convicted of filing a false claim.
There are defenses available to you. Mistake is one such defense. Lack of knowledge is another. If the prosecution is unable to prove all elements of the crime, there is no conviction.
Making a knowing false claim to the state for the payment of funds is a felony in Oklahoma. It is punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and/or a jail term of up to two years. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 359
Making a false claim on an employment application with Oklahoma is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a jail term of up to one year.
Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Claremore. Get the help you need today.
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