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Federal Embezzlement Laws

Federal embezzlement laws are broken down by the type of stolen property and money. Here is a short description of each category mentioned in 18 U.S.C Chapter 31, and the associated penalties.

18 U.S.C. § 641 Public Money, Property, or Records

Under 18 U.S.C. § 641 it is prohibited to embezzle property, money, records, or anything else of value that belongs to the United States government or one of its agencies.

Penalties for 18 U.S.C § 641 Offenses

In case the 18 U.S.C. § 641 offense involves $1,000 or more:

  • Up to ten years in federal prison
  • A fine of up to $250,000

In case the 18 U.S.C. § 641 offense involves $1,000 or less:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • A fine of up to $100,000

18 U.S.C. § 642 Tools and materials for counterfeiting purposes

Under 18 U.S.C. § 642 it is prohibited to embezzle tools, printing devices, stamps, or other implements used to create currency notes, federal bonds, certificates, postage stamps, coupons, or other item authorized to be put into circulation by the federal government.

Penalties for 18 U.S.C. § 642 Offenses:

  • Up to ten years in federal prison
  • A fine of up to $250,000

18 U.S.C. § 643 Accounting Generally for Public Money

Under 18 U.S.C. § 643 it is prohibited to embezzle public money by federal officers, agents or employees.

Penalties for 18 U.S.C. § 643 Offenses:

In case the 18 U.S.C. § 643 offense involves $1,000 or more:

  • Up to ten years in federal prison
  • A fine of up to $250,000 or a sum equal to the amount embezzled

In case the 18 U.S.C. § 643 offense involves $1,000 or less:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • A fine of up to $100,000

18 U.S.C. § 644 Receiving Unauthorized Deposit of Public Money

18 U.S.C. § 644 applies to embezzlement by a person who receives and keeps public funds that don’t belong to him.

Penalties for 18 U.S.C. § 644 Offenses:

In case the 18 U.S.C. § 644 offense involves $1,000 or more:

  • Up to ten years in federal prison
  • A fine of up to $250,000 or a sum equal to the amount embezzled

In case the 18 U.S.C. § 644 offense involves $1,000 or less:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • A fine of up to $100,000

18 U.S.C. § 648 and 649 Custodians Misusing Public Funds

Under 18 U.S.C. § 648 and 649, it is prohibited to embezzle either by keeping or failing to promptly deposit federal money by any person charged with the safekeeping of federal money.

Penalties for 18 U.S.C. § 648 and 649 Offenses:

In case the 18 U.S.C. § §648 and 649 offense involves $1,000 or more:

  • Up to ten years in federal prison
  • A fine of up to $250,000 or an up to the amount embezzled

In case the 18 U.S.C. § §648 and 649 offense involves $1,000 or less:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • A fine of up to $100,000

18 U.S.C. § 650 Depositaries Failing to Safeguard Deposits

18 U.S.C. § 650 addresses the embezzlement by the United States Treasurer, an employee of the treasury, or any other public federal depository.

Penalties for 18 U.S.C. § 650 Offenses:

In case the 18 U.S.C. § 650 offense involves $1,000 or more:

  • Up to ten years in federal prison
  • A fine of up to $250,000 or an up to the amount embezzled

In case the 18 U.S.C. § 650 offense involves $1,000 or less:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • A fine of up to $100,000

18 U.S.C. § 653 Disbursing Officer

18 U.S.C. § 653 addresses embezzlement by any federal officer or employee who is charged with disbursing public money.

Penalties for 18 U.S.C. § 653 Offenses:

In case the 18 U.S.C. § 653 offense involves $1,000 or more:

  • Up to ten years in federal prison
  • A fine of up to $250,000 or a up to the amount embezzled

In case the 18 U.S.C. § 653 offense involves $1,000 or less:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • A fine of up to $100,000

18 U.S.C. § 655 Theft by a Bank Examiner

This section addresses embezzlement by federal public bank examiners and assistant examiners when the money embezzled is taken from a banking institution which is a member of the Federal Reserve System, insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, is an agency or branch of a foreign bank.

Penalties for 18 U.S.C. § 655 Offenses:

In case the 18 U.S.C. § 655 offense involves $1,000 or more:

  • Up to ten years in federal prison
  • A fine of up to $250,000 or an up to the amount embezzled

In case the 18 U.S.C. § 655 offense involves $1,000 or less:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • A fine of up to $100,000

18 U.S.C. § 657 Embezzlement by Employees of a Bank, Credit, Lending, or Insurance Institution

This section prohibits embezzlement by an employee of any banking credit, lending, or insurance institution the Federal Reserve Act, or by a Federal Reserve employee.

Penalties for 18 U.S.C. § 657 Offenses:

In case the 18 U.S.C. § 657 offense involves $1,000 or more:

  • Up to thirty years in federal prison
  • A fine of up to $1,000,000

In case the 18 U.S.C. § 657 offense involves $1,000 or less:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • A fine of up to $100,000

18 U.S.C. § 658 Property Mortgaged or Pledged to Farm Credit Agencies

Under 18 U.S.C. § 658 it is prohibited to embezzle property or money pledged to or held by a farm credit agency as security for a farm loan.

Penalties 18 U.S.C. § 658:

In case the 18 U.S.C. § 658 offense involves $1,000 or more:

  • Up to five years in federal prison
  • A fine of up to $250,000

In case the 18 U.S.C. § 658 offense involves $1,000 or less:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • A fine of up to $100,000

18 U.S.C. § 663 Solicitation or Use of Gifts

According to this Section, it is prohibited to solicit a gift of money or other property on behalf of the United States Federal government or one of its agencies with the intent to keep that gift or to embezzle donated property or money.

Penalties for 18 U.S.C. § 663 Offenses:

  • Up to five years in federal prison
  • A fine of up to $250,000

18 U.S.C. § 664 Embezzlement From an Employee Benefit Plan

Embezzling from any employee benefit plan.

Penalties for 18 U.S.C. § 664 Offenses:

  • Up to five years in federal prison
  • A fine of up to $250,000

18 U.S.C. § 666 Theft or Bribery Concerning Programs Receiving Federal Funds:

This section defines embezzlement by employees of organizations receiving $10,000 or more in federal grants, subsidies, contracts, guarantees, loans insurance, or other forms of federal assistance in one year period.

Penalties for 18 U.S.C. § 666 Offenses:

In case the offense involves $5,000 or more:

  • Up to ten years in federal prison
  • A fine of up to $250,000

18 U.S.C. § 667 Theft of Livestock

This section defined the embezzlement of money, livestock, or any other property worth $10,000 or more, which is connected with marketing or selling livestock in foreign or interstate commerce.

Penalties for 18 U.S.C. § 667 Offenses:

  • Up to five years in federal prison
  • A fine of up to $250,000

18 U.S.C. § 668 Theft of Major Artwork

According to 18 U.S.C. § 668, it is prohibited to obtain or steal by fraud artwork or other items from a museum when the art is worth at least $5,000 and is over one hundred years old or worth at least $100,000.

Penalties for 18 U.S.C. § 668 Offenses:

  • Up to ten years in federal prison
  • A fine of up to $250,000

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