(The court did note in passing that the defense might apply to Article 107). In U.S. v. Harrison, 20 MJ
710 (ACMR 1985), the Army Court of Military Review upheld a false swearing conviction when the
accused said "no" and nothing else to four questions. All four denials were false and under oath. The
court followed Harrison in upholding the conviction for false swearing under Article 134.
To sum up, the exculpatory no may apply to a violation of 18 USC 1001. The Federal Courts are
split on this issue. If a military member does nothing more than say "no" falsely, liability will depend
upon whether an oath was given. If the statement was under oath, the soldier is liable for false
swearing under Article 134.
K. 18 USC 287 False, Fictitious, or Fraudulent Claims.
"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 of agency thereof, knowing such claim to be false, fictitious, or
fraudulent, shall be fined not more than ,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."
The accused must present a claim against the United States or any U.S. agency or department. It
also covers one who causes the false claim to be submitted to the government. U.S. v. Catena, 500
F2d 1319 (3d Cir. 1974), cert. den. 42 L.Ed 2d 2641 (1974).
The claim must be put into government channels at some point; in other words, there must be a
demand or request made on the government. The section does not require that the claim be paid. The
government must prove that the accused knew the claim was false.
18 USC 287 is similar to the false claim provisions of Article 132, UCMJ. Article 132 is broken down
into eight different offenses: (1) making a false or fraudulent claim, (2) presenting a false or fraudulent
claim, (3) making a false writing in connection with claims, (4) false oath in connection with claims, (5)
forgery of signature in connection with claims, (6) using a forged signature in connection with claims,
(7) delivering less than called for by receipt, and (8) making or delivering a receipt without having full
knowledge that it is true.
Under Article 132, making a false claim requires an act placing the claim into official channels. This
does not require that the claim be paid, nor that it reach a person who has the authority to pay it. The
government must prove the accused knew the claim was false. An honest belief is a defense to a false
claim. Also, a negligently made claim is not a false claim. The government must show that the
accused knew the claim was fictitious or dishonest. "You should understand that if a suspect made a
good faith effort to correct an erroneous pay situation, then there may be no larceny or false claim
because the suspect did not have criminal intent. For example, a soldier informs the F&AO that he has