False Statement Influencing a HUD Insured Loan – 18 U.S.C. § 1010

Overview and Elements

Every year, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) pays out millions in subsidies to various individuals through its many programs.  Readers are likely most familiar with “FHA loans,” a program by which HUD subsidizes home buyers by insuring their home loans from private financial institutions.  The security of this federal insurance in turn allows the financial institutions to charge lower interest and grant more favorable loan terms to borrowers.

18 U.S.C. § 1010 provides federal criminal penalties for any individual who willfully discloses to the Secretary a list, return, account, statement, or any other type of document they know to be fraudulent or false any material matter. Anyone convicted of this federal crime will face a fine of up to $10,000, or up to $50,000 for a corporation, or face up to one year in jail, or both jail and a fine.

Anyone required under section 6047(b) to furnish information who willfully furnishes them fraudulent or false as to any material matter will face the same legal penalties as above.

At first glance, the preceding seems to cover many different types of conduct.  However, every scenario covered by §1010 addresses the same wrongdoing; namely, the making of false statements to try to influence the decision-making of HUD.  Most often, this will involve false statements on loan applications or similar documents which are made in an attempt to secure FHA loans to which the borrower would otherwise not be entitled. A violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1010 is can be punished  by up to two years of incarceration in federal prison, a fine, or both fine and prison.

Defenses

Besides asserting that the challenged statement was, in fact, true, most defenses to §1010 will focus on the defendant’s state of mind.  Your attorney will argue that, while the statement or statements at issue were false, you did not make them in an attempt to secure loans or insurance from HUD or otherwise affect their decision-making.

The government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had a deceptive intent when you made the false statements.  If you were simply careless or mistaken, you cannot be convicted under §1010.

Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

All federal crimes are highly technical and require a fact-specific and case-by-case evaluation by an experienced attorney familiar with the federal courts and federal criminal statutes.  If you, or someone you know, is charged with a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1010, call us today at (877) 781-1570 for a telephonic consultation with one of our federal criminal defense attorneys.

Related Information: Bank Fraud