Government Program Fraud


Because most federal contracts involve amounts in excess of $1 million, the primary statute implicated in cases involving government program fraud is 18 U.S.C. § 1031, which is commonly referred to as the statute concerning “Major Fraud against the United States.”  This statute essentially makes it a federal crime to engage in any scheme or artifice to defraud the United States relative to federal grant monies, federal contract monies or any other government program money.  This can include contracts with the U. S. Military or any other department or agency, contracts with the General Services Administration, as an example, Medicare fraud, Medicaid fraud and/or any other program which is federally funded.

Another statute used in prosecutions involving government program fraud is 18 U.S.C. § 666, which deals with theft or bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.  This statute is broad enough to cover bribes or kickbacks in connection with government programs as well as embezzlement and other schemes to unlawfully obtain federal program monies.

Any sophisticated scheme involving kickbacks, briberies, embezzlement or false statements and representations can be prosecuted under a variety of different statutes.  However, the major fraud provisions have enhanced penalties found at 18 U.S.C. § 1031 and is broadly worded to capture any scheme to defraud the government in excess of $1 million.