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Criminal Resource Manual

1476. Element Issue -- 18 USC 912 -- "Acting Under Authority"

Two district courts hold that the defendant must pretend not only that he is an employee of the United States, but also that the property is demanded or obtained under the authorization of the United States or for the United States. United States v. Grewe, 242 F. Supp. 826 (W.D.Mo. 1965) (cashing personal checks not an offense); United States v. York, 202 F. Supp. 275 (E.D.Va. 1962) (obtaining personal credit not an offense). To save the phrase "acting under the authority of the United States" from being read out of the statute, the court in York found it necessary to interpret it to mean acting "for the United States" or in a way "authorized by the United States."

[cited in USAM 9-64.300]