False, Fictitious or Fraudulent Claims: A Type of Theft
Making false, fictitious or fraudulent claims against a state is a crime of fraud in Oklahoma. It is theft.
Virtually all states and the U.S. federal government have statutes in place to protect against this type of theft.
What Is A False Claim Against the State?
A false claim or fraudulent claim is any knowing claim or statement that is false and made for the purpose of defrauding another, or conspiring with another to do so. Most false claim cases arise when a person files a false claim seeking money they are not legally entitled to from a governmental agency.
A false claim can arise out of a misrepresentation of financial need on an assistance application, seeking assistance or medical coverage that are not entitled to. False claims cases also arise when a party overbills or bills a governmental entity for work not actually completed.
Oklahoma Fraudulent Claim Statutes
Oklahoma has a number of false claim statutes on the books. Some provide for criminal penalties and some provide for civil penalties.
Oklahoma law makes it illegal for anyone or any entity to knowingly make or present any false, fictitious or fraudulent claim for payment of any public funds from the state of Oklahoma or any of its departments or entities. It is also unlawful to knowingly make any materially false or fraudulent statement upon an employment application for a state job in Oklahoma. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 358
A false claim for payment of funds is a felony punishable by a fine up to $10,000, a jail term of up to two years, or both. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 359
Making a false claim on an employment application with the state is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, a jail term of up to one year, or both.
Oklahoma also prohibits knowingly making false claims to Oklahoma’s Medicaid program. Penalties include damages up to three times the amount of the actual harm done to the state, and a fine between $5,000 and $10,000 for each violation. Okla. Stat. tit. 63 § 5053.1
These statutes carry stiff penalties. If you are facing charges, you will need the help of an experienced Okmulgee criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
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