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UNITED STATES V. KNOX, 396 U. S. 77 (1969)

U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Knox, 396 U.S. 77 (1969)

United States v. Knox

No. 17

Argued October 14, 1969

Decided December 8, 1969

396 U.S. 77


This is an appeal by the Government from the dismissal of two counts of an indictment charging appellee with violating 18 U.S.C. § 1001 by making false statements in wagering tax forms required by 26 U.S.C. § 4412. The District Court dismissed the indictment, reasoning that appellee could not be prosecuted for "failure to answer the wagering form correctly," since his privilege against self-incrimination would have prevented prosecution for "failure to answer the form in any respect."


1. One who furnishes false information to the Government in feigned compliance with a statutory requirement cannot defend against prosecution for his fraud by challenging the validity of the requirement itself. Bryson v. United States, ante, p. 396 U. S. 64. Pp. 396 U. S. 79-80.

2. By filing false statements, appellee took a course other than the one that § 4412 was designed to compel, a course that the Fifth Amendment gave him no privilege to take. Pp. 396 U. S. 81-82.

3. Whether, as appellee argues, he gave the false information under the duress of §§ 4412 and 7203 of the Internal Revenue Code, or his false statements were not made "willfully" as required by 18 U.S.C. § 1001, must be determined initially at his trial. Pp. 396 U. S. 82-84.

298 F.Supp. 1260, reversed.

Page 396 U. S. 78

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