The elements of a violation of the offense described in the first paragraph of 18 U.S.C. § 2314 are that the defendant: (1) unlawfully transported or caused to be transported in interstate or foreign commerce; (2) goods, wares, merchandise, securities, or money having a value of $5,000 or more which are stolen, converted or taken by fraud; and (3) knowing the same to be stolen, converted or taken by fraud.
The essence of this offense is transportation. The term "unlawfully" means contrary to law, i.e., the absence of lawful justification. For example, a person voluntarily returning property stolen, converted, or taken by fraud to its lawful owner would not violate the statute. See Godwin v. United States, 687 F.2d 585 (2d Cir. 1985).
Section 2314 of Title 18 may be applicable to certain check kiting schemes where a float has been created and the perpetrator is transporting in interstate or foreign commerce by means of securities (usually the perpetrator's own checks) the funds which he has been taking by fraud from the banking institution. See United States v. Flick, 516 F.2d 489 (7th Cir. 1975). The fact that he is using his own check to transport the bank's funds does not preclude prosecution as the statute permits tracing where the form of the "stolen" property is changed. See this Manual at 1317 for a discussion of "stolen" property.
[cited in USAM 9-61.200]