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CRM 1500-1999

1660. Protection Of Government Property -- Embezzlement By Court Officers

Three of these sections apply to misuse of funds by court officers. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 645, 646, 647. Section 645 provides that any United States Marshal, clerk, receiver, referee, trustee or other officer or employee of a United States court who retains or converts to his use or the use of another any money coming into his hands by virtue of his official duties or refuses to return such money after a demand by the party entitled to it, violates the law.

Section 646 forbids court officers from failing to promptly deposit, or from retaining or converting, moneys belonging to the registry of the court. Section 646 is complemented by 18 U.S.C. § 647 which prohibits knowing receipt from a court officer of moneys belonging to the registry of the court.

The penalties for violations of these three sections are tied to the amount of the funds taken. If that amount is $100 or less, the defendant is subject to one year imprisonment, a $1,000 fine, or both. If that amount exceeds $100, the defendant may be sentenced to ten years imprisonment, a fine equal to the amount embezzled, or both.

[cited in JM 9-66.300]