James Brogan (defendant) had accepted cash payments from a real estate company. However, when IRS and Department of Labor agents came to his home seeking cooperation in an investigation of the company, Brogan denied receiving any cash from the company. A jury in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York found Brogan guilty of making a false statement to a federal agent. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed. Brogan appealed on the grounds that many courts of appeals had recognized an exception to the false statement statute for the “exculpatory no” and that denying such an exception is against the “spirit” of the Fifth Amendment.