Missouri Revised Statutes Title XXXVIII. Crimes and Punishment; Peace Officers and Public Defenders § 570.408. Perjury for the purpose of obtaining public assistance--penalty

1. A person commits the offense of perjury for the purpose of obtaining public assistance if he or she knowingly makes a false or misleading statement or misrepresents a fact material for the purpose of obtaining public assistance if the false or misleading statement is reduced to writing and verified by the signature of the person making the statement and by the signature of any employee of the Missouri department of social services.  The same person may not be charged with unlawfully receiving public assistance benefits and perjury pursuant to this section when both offenses arise from the same application for benefits.

2. A statement or fact is material, regardless of its admissibility under rules of evidence, if it could substantially affect or did substantially affect the granting of public assistance.

3. Knowledge of the materiality of the statement or fact is not an element of this offense, and it is no defense that:

(1) The person mistakenly believed the fact to be immaterial;  or

(2) The person was not competent, for reasons other than mental disability, to make the statement.

4. The offense of perjury for the purpose of obtaining public assistance is a class A misdemeanor, unless the value of the public assistance unlawfully obtained or unlawfully attempted to be obtained is seven hundred fifty dollars or more, in which case it is a class E felony, or the person has previously been found guilty of two violations under sections 570.400 to 570.410 , in which case it is a class D felony.

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