“I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” – a mantra recited dozens of times a week in TV shows and movies. It’s so familiar that its significance can be overlooked. But, when sworn in a court or other official proceeding, it makes everything said afterward either the truth or perjury.
Federal laws against suborning perjury set the punishment at up to five years in prison, plus fines. States also punish suborning perjury, which is always a felony and will carry the possibility of at least a year in state prison.
Almost anyone who has ever signed a tax return—even the most forthcoming among us—has at least wondered what kinds of misrepresentations land taxpayers in hot water. Fudging tax documents is called “tax perjury”: It occurs when taxpayers intentionally file fraudulent documents or help others do the same. It’s a crime under federal law.
You very well may be able to sue your ex-wife. When someone lies and the lie hurts other people, even when it hurts only their reputations, the injured person can sue for slander and seek financial damages.