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Criminal Resource Manual

1653. Protection Of Government Property -- Custody Of Government Property In The U.S.

The ownership interest necessary to trigger jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C. § 641 is not confined to exclusively legal title. Custodial interests which fall short of actual title may also provide a basis for the assertion of federal jurisdiction. See Fowler v. United States, 273 F. 15, 17 (9th Cir. 1921). This custodial interest may take the form of a bailment, id.; a fiduciary relationship, Loewe v. United States, 135 F.2d 622 (9th Cir. 1943); a leasehold interest, United States v. Briddle, 443 F.2d 443 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 404 U.S. 942 (1971); or simply the quantity of control the United States exercises over the property or funds, Arbuckle v. United States, 146 F.2d 657, 659 (D.C.Cir. 1944).

[cited in USAM 9-66.200]