Skip to main content

Primary tabs

Criminal Resource Manual

1011. Property

18 U.S.C. § 666 (a)(1)(A) prohibits the fraudulent taking of "property" that is (1) valued at $5,000 or more and (2) under the care custody or control of the organization, government or agency.

The term "property" is undefined and apparently without limitation. It includes all property, tangible and intangible, as well as money, that is under the care, custody, or control of the organization or state or local government agency. It has been held to include employee services, such as using employees to run personal errands. United States v. Valentine, 63 F.3d 459 (6th Cir. 1995).

To sustain a conviction under Section 666, it is not necessary to show that the property embezzled or stolen is Federal property or otherwise prove that the embezzled funds came from a Federal, rather than a state, source. The statute requires only that the $5,000 in property be owned by or in the custody or control of an organization, government or agency that received $10,000 in Federal benefits. United States v. Valentine, 63 F.3d 459 (6th Cir. 1995).

Courts also have adopted this interpretation in cases involving the bribery section of the statute, 18 U.S.C. § 666(a)(1)(B), which has a similar $5,000 threshold. See United States v. Westmoreland, 841 F. 2d 572 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 82 (1988); United States v. Coyne, 4 F.3d 100 (2d Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 114 S. Ct. 929 (1994); United States v. Simas, 937 F.2d 459 (9th Cir. 1991); United States v. Smith, 659 F. Supp. 833 (S.D. Miss. 1987).

[cited in USAM 9-46.100]