Protection of Government PropertyEmbezzlement of
In addition, there are a series of sections prohibiting misuse or
of public funds. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 643, 644, 648, 649, 650,
652, and 653. The coverage of these sections is summarized below:|
Penalties for violations of these sections are similar to the
prescribed under 18 U.S.C. §§ 634-647. If the value of the
$100 or less, a defendant is subject to one year imprisonment, a $1,000
both. When the value of the property exceeds $100, the defendant may be
sentenced to ten years imprisonment, a fine equal to the amount of the
taken, or both. In the case of a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 651 or
the maximum fine may equal twice the value of the property taken.
- 18 U.S.C. § 643 provides that any officer, employee or agent of
United States who receives money which he is not authorized to retain as
and fails to account for it as provided by law is guilty of embezzlement.
- 18 U.S.C. § 644 prohibits persons who are not authorized
depositaries of public money from knowingly receiving any such money or
transferring, converting, appropriating or applying such money for any
not prescribed by law.
- 18 U.S.C. § 648 forbids custodians of public funds from
using, or converting those funds, or depositing or exchanging them, except
authorized by law.
- 18 U.S.C. § 649 provides that any person who possesses or
controls money belonging to the United States and fails to deposit it when
required to do so is guilty of
- 18 U.S.C. § 650 applies to the Treasurer of the United
any public depositary and provides that if these officials fail to keep
all money deposited with them, they have violated the law. One case has
suggested that this section is violated when a depositary of government
negligently loses these funds. See Shaw v. United States, 357
949, 957-58 (Ct.Cl. 1966). The better view on this question, however, seems
be that some criminal intent must be proven as part of a prosecution under
section. See Morissette v. United States, 342 U.S. 246,
- 18 U.S.C. § 651 relates to the disbursement of public funds
prohibits disbursing officers from falsely certifying full payment of
- 18 U.S.C. § 652 also relates to the disbursement of
funds. This section prohibits disbursing officers from disbursing a sum
than that required by law.
- 18 U.S.C. § 653 prohibits any other misuse of government
by disbursing officers including: (1) converting, loaning or depositing
moneys except as authorized by law; and (2) withdrawing, transferring or
these funds without authority.
- Finally, 18 U.S.C. § 654 forbids government employees from
wrongfully converting the property of others which they receive in the
Most of these sections involve situations in which 18 U.S.C. §
would be equally applicable. Note, however, that the penalties provided by
U.S.C. § 641 differ from the penalties provided for in 18 U.S.C.
643 - 654. Violations of 18 U.S.C. § 641 are punishable by ten years
imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine. In contrast, 18 U.S.C. §§ 643
provide for a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment and/or a fine equal
the amount taken, or double that amount. Thus, in a given case, the
could be subject to a greater or lesser fine, depending upon the statute
Because of this difference in the penalties provided by these statutes,
defendants who fall within these specific sections generally should be
under the specific statute rather than 18 U.S.C. § 641.
[cited in USAM 9-66.300]