ConceptReceiving, Concealing or Retaining Stolen
Section 641 of Title 18 also prohibits receipt of stolen government
property. There are five elements to the offense: the defendant must
conceal or retain; stolen property; belonging to the United States; knowing
the property has been embezzled, stolen, purloined or converted; and with
intent to convert that property to his own use or gain. See
States v. Fench, 470 F.2d 1234 (D.C.Cir.), cert. denied, 410 U.S.
(1972); Teel v. United States, 407 F.2d 604 (8th Cir. 1969).|
At the outset, it should be noted that the conduct proscribed by
section is set forth in the disjunctive. Thus, a defendant violates the law
he either "receives, " "conceals" or "retains" stolen property. None of
words are terms of art and they should be given their normal construction.
The intent requirement of this section presents more serious
Prosecutions for receiving stolen property require proof of a compound state
mind. First, the defendant must know that the property he has received,
concealed or retained is stolen. Note, however, that the defendant need not
that the property was stolen from the United States. See Baker v.
United States, 429 F.2d 1278 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 400 U.S.
(1970). Ownership of the property by the United States is simply a
jurisdictional requirement and is not relevant to the criminal intent needed
violate the law.
The defendant must also act with the intent to convert the property
his own use. Thus, this offense is a specific intent crime. Proof of this
intent, however, does not require evidence showing that the defendant
derived some benefit from the property. This element is satisfied merely by
showing that the defendant intended to convert some property to his personal
gain. See United States v. Hinds, 662 F.2d 362, 369 n. 15
Cir. 1981), cert. denied, 455 U.S. 1022 (1982).
[cited in USAM 9-66.200]