Motor Vehicle Titles as "Securities"
The definition of the term "securities" in 18 U.S.C. § 2311
specifically includes a "valid or blank motor vehicle title."
RICO prosecution under 18 U.S.C. § 1961 et seq., can be
the interstate transportation of a blank counterfeited motor vehicle title
well as on the interstate transportation of a completed counterfeit motor
The precise meaning of "valid" is not clear. Regardless of the
of "valid," the definition of security in 18 U.S.C. § 2311, however,
rendered basically insignificant by 18 U.S.C. § 513 which makes the
counterfeiting or forging of state securities (including their blank forms)
federal crime. Since the definition of "security" in § 513 includes
certificate of interest in tangible property or a blank form thereof, it is
a federal offense to counterfeit or forge a motor vehicle title or a blank
thereof. No interstate transportation of the counterfeit or forged motor
title is required.
It should be noted, however, that 18 U.S.C. § 513 is not a
predicate offense for a RICO prosecution, while violations of 18 U.S.C.
§§ 2314 and 2315 do qualify as predicate offenses.
[cited in USAM 9-61.700]