What kind of trouble would a company get into if they tell me to give false information to a state auditor?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What kind of trouble would a company get into if they tell me to give false information to a state auditor?

My employer told me to tell a state auditor, if asked, that we do not build any

equipment at our facility when in reality we do. We typically do service work as

we are an independent company that is associated with an international company that build equipment also. Our company sells 2 to 5 units each year nationwide. The sales value for each unit we build is about 100k. Can the company retaliate against if I am no longer an employee?

Asked on March 27, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Lying to a government auditor is a serious offense. Depending on exactly what was said, to whom, it could result in a large civil fine or possibly even be considered a criminal offense. Note that you could potentially be liable, too, if you were the one who provided the false information: there is no law saying that it is ok to lie to the government (or commit any other illegal act) simply because your employer told you to.
If the employer did commit an illegal act, they should not be able to retaliate against you if you reveal that fact to the governemnt, or if you quit rather than going along with their request: someone cannot sue or take other legal action against someone else for the 2nd person revealing or not helping with a crime or other violation of the law.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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