The elements of the offense contained in the third paragraph of 18 U.S.C. § 2314 are that the defendant: (1) with unlawful or fraudulent intent; (2) transported or caused to be transported in interstate or foreign commerce; (3) a falsely made, forged, altered, or counterfeit security or tax stamps; (4) knowing the same to have been falsely made, forged, altered, or counterfeited.
A forged security does not have to be actually forged before the security crosses a state boundary provided that the forging takes place before the completion of the interstate journey. See McElroy v. United States, 455 U.S. 642 (1982). In most cases the defendant by negotiating the security will cause the receiver to send the security back to the issuer for collection. If the issuer is out of state, the defendant has caused its interstate transportation. See Pereira v. United States, 347 U.S. 1 (1954); 18 U.S.C. § 2(b). The defendant does not have to know of the interstate transportation as that is only a jurisdictional element. See United States v. Ludwig, 523 F.2d 705 (8th Cir. 1975). See also United States v. Feola, 420 U.S. 671 (1975).
When a perpetrator transports several counterfeit or forged securities at the same time he commits only one offense. See United States v. Squires, 581 F.2d 408 (4th Cir. 1978). However, when he negotiates a forged check at each of three different merchants, he commits three separate offenses. Amer v. United States, 367 F.2d 803 (8th Cir. 1966). On the other hand, if he negotiates three forged checks at the same time, he commits only one offense as it is presumed that the forged securities entered the stream of commerce together. See Cabbell v. United States, 636 F.2d 246 (8th Cir. 1980).