The Honest Leadership And Open Government Act Of 2007 Provides For Criminal Penalties For Falsifying Disclosure Forms

February 1, 2011- The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007,  which amended the Ethics in Government Act, increased the civil fine for false statement on a Financial Disclosure Form from $10,000 to $50,000 and added the criminal penalties of one year for each violation. Clarence Thomas filed at least three forms after the effective date of the Act.  It should be noted that Congress, in Section 701 of the Act, specifically made these changes applicable to federal judges.  

TITLE VII—MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
SEC. 701. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS THAT ANY APPLICABL RESTRICTIONS ON CONGRESSIONAL OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES SHOULD APPLY TO THE EXECUTIVE AND JUDICIAL BRANCHES.
It is the sense of the Congress that any applicable restrictions on congressional officials and employees in this Act should apply to the executive and judicial branches.

SEC. 702. KNOWING AND WILLFUL FALSIFICATION OR FAILURE TO REPORT. Section 104(a) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) is amended— (1) by inserting ‘‘(1)’’ after ‘‘(a)’’: (2) in paragraph (1), as so designated, by striking ‘‘$10,000’’ and inserting ‘‘$50,000’’; and (3) by adding at the end the following: ‘‘(2)(A) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly and willfully—‘‘(i) falsify any information that such person is required to report under section 102; and ‘‘(ii) fail to file or report any information that such person is required to report under section 102. ‘‘(B) Any person who— ‘‘(i) violates subparagraph (A)(i) shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both; and ‘‘(ii) violates subparagraph (A)(ii) shall be fined under title 18, United States Code.’’ 


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