Wednesday, February 24

Hypothetical: You and your family are spending the day in a national park. After a few miles of hiking, you decide it’s time for a lunch break. You eat, finish, and throw away your trash. Your son, however, isn’t so careful – he leaves behind a few leftover items from his meal. As you leave your picnic area, a park ranger asks if you or your family has left trash in the area. You tell him that you’ve cleaned up after yourself. You have just committed an arguable federal felony: False Statements to a Federal Official. Any false statement made to a government official – even when it is made in conversation and not under oath nor in writing – can leave a citizen vulnerable to a “false statement” charge.

Real Life Example.

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