Skip to main content
CRM 1000-1499

1464. Sections 495 And 510 Distinguished

Prior to the enactment of 18 U.S.C. § 510, section 495 was relied upon to prosecute the forgery and uttering of United States Treasury checks under that statute's proscription against falsely forging any writing or uttering any such writing for the purpose of obtaining money from the United States.

In addition to sharing dominion over forgery and uttering offenses with 18 U.S.C. § 495, section 510 also creates a criminal offense. Section 510(b) makes it an offense to buy, sell, exchange, receive, deliver, retain, or conceal any Treasury check, bond, or security of the United States knowing that such instrument is stolen or that it bears a falsely made or forged endorsement or signature. This language was specifically drafted to reach "fences" who traffic in stolen Treasury checks but who may not themselves forge or pass such checks.

Another distinction of 18 U.S.C. § 510 is its misdemeanor provision. Section 510(c) reduces the crimes defined by 18 U.S.C. § 510(a) and (b) to misdemeanors if the face value of the instrument, or the aggregate face value if more than one instrument, does not exceed $500.

[cited in JM 9-64.133]