1.06: Failure to File and Falsification Penalties




In addition to the fee discussed in “Late Filing Fees” section, individuals who fail to file a report, file a false report, or fail to report required information risk serious consequences.  Both the agency and the Department of Justice may take action against the employee.  This possibility emphasizes the importance of documenting contacts with filers, especially when there are concerns regarding timely or accurate filing.  If it appears that penalties may need to be applied, OGE recommends that all contacts be in writing.  Ethics officials should also make notes about telephone and in-person conversations.

Agency Disciplinary Action

5 U.S.C. app. § 104(c); 5 C.F.R. § 2634.701(d)

An agency may take any appropriate action against employees who have not filed or who have filed a false, incomplete, or late report, in accordance with applicable personnel laws and regulations.  Agency action does not, however, preclude action by the Department of Justice.

Actions that the Department of Justice May Take

Civil Action

5 U.S.C. app. § 104(a)(1)

The Attorney General may bring a civil action in any appropriate United States district court against any individual who knowingly and willfully falsifies or who knowingly and willfully fails to file or report any information that such individual is required to report pursuant to 5 U.S.C. app. § 102.  The court in which such action is brought may assess a civil penalty of up to $50,000.

Criminal Action

5 U.S.C. app. § 104(a)(2); 18 U.S.C. § 1001

The Attorney General may bring a criminal action against any individual who:

  • knowingly and willfully falsifies information required to be reported or
  • knowingly and willfully fails to file or report any information that such individual is required to report.