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CITE

    18 USC Sec. 491                                             01/05/2009

EXPCITE

    TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
    PART I - CRIMES
    CHAPTER 25 - COUNTERFEITING AND FORGERY

HEAD

    Sec. 491. Tokens or paper used as money

STATUTE

      (a) Whoever, being 18 years of age or over, not lawfully
    authorized, makes, issues, or passes any coin, card, token, or
    device in metal, or its compounds, intended to be used as money, or
    whoever, being 18 years of age or over, with intent to defraud,
    makes, utters, inserts, or uses any card, token, slug, disk,
    device, paper, or other thing similar in size and shape to any of
    the lawful coins or other currency of the United States or any coin
    or other currency not legal tender in the United States, to procure
    anything of value, or the use or enjoyment of any property or
    service from any automatic merchandise vending machine, postage-
    stamp machine, turnstile, fare box, coinbox telephone, parking
    meter or other lawful receptacle, depository, or contrivance
    designed to receive or to be operated by lawful coins or other
    currency of the United States, shall be fined under this title, or
    imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
      (b) Whoever manufactures, sells, offers, or advertises for sale,
    or exposes or keeps with intent to furnish or sell any token, slug,
    disk, device, paper, or other thing similar in size and shape to
    any of the lawful coins or other currency of the United States, or
    any token, disk, paper, or other device issued or authorized in
    connection with rationing or food and fiber distribution by any
    agency of the United States, with knowledge or reason to believe
    that such tokens, slugs, disks, devices, papers, or other things
    are intended to be used unlawfully or fraudulently to procure
    anything of value, or the use or enjoyment of any property or
    service from any automatic merchandise vending machine, postage-
    stamp machine, turnstile, fare box, coinbox telephone, parking
    meter, or other lawful receptacle, depository, or contrivance
    designed to receive or to be operated by lawful coins or other
    currency of the United States shall be fined under this title or
    imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
      Nothing contained in this section shall create immunity from
    criminal prosecution under the laws of any State, Commonwealth of
    Puerto Rico, territory, possession, or the District of Columbia.
      (c) "Knowledge or reason to believe", within the meaning of
    paragraph (b) of this section, may be shown by proof that any law-
    enforcement officer has, prior to the commission of the offense
    with which the defendant is charged, informed the defendant that
    tokens, slugs, disks, or other devices of the kind manufactured,
    sold, offered, or advertised for sale by him or exposed or kept
    with intent to furnish or sell, are being used unlawfully or
    fraudulently to operate certain specified automatic merchandise
    vending machines, postage-stamp machines, turnstiles, fare boxes,
    coin-box telephones, parking meters, or other receptacles,
    depositories, or contrivances, designed to receive or to be
    operated by lawful coins of the United States.

SOURCE

    (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 710; Pub. L. 87-667, Sept. 19,
    1962, 76 Stat. 555; Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII, Sec.
    330016(1)(H), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES

      Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Secs. 282, 282a (Mar. 4,
    1909, ch. 321, Sec. 168, 35 Stat. 1120, and Sec. 168a as added Apr.
    1, 1944, ch. 151, 58 Stat. 149).
      Mandatory punishment provision in subsection (a) was rephrased in
    the alternative.
      Sections were consolidated and changes were made in phraseology.
      Reference to persons causing or procuring was omitted as
    unnecessary in view of definition of "principal" in section 2 of
    this title.
      Punishment provision in paragraph (a) of 5 years was changed to 1
    year to make the offense a misdemeanor as was done in paragraph (b)
    of this section, which represents the latest expression of the
    intention of Congress. See definition of felony and misdemeanor in
    section 1 of this title and note thereunder.
      In paragraph (b) the $3,000 fine was reduced to $1,000 to conform
    to paragraph (a) and as more in keeping with the gravity of
    offense.
                                AMENDMENTS
      1994 - Subsecs. (a), (b). Pub. L. 103-322 substituted "fined
    under this title" for "fined not more than $1,000".
      1962 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 87-667 inserted "being 18 years of
    age or over," before "not lawfully authorized", and "or whoever,
    being 18 years of age or over, with intent to defraud, makes,
    utters, inserts, or uses any card, token, slug, disk, device,
    paper, or other thing similar in size and shape to any of the
    lawful coins or other currency of the United States or any coin or
    other currency not legal tender in the United States, to procure
    anything of value, or the use or enjoyment of any property or
    service from any automatic merchandise vending machine, postage-
    stamp machine, turnstile, fare box, coinbox telephone, parking
    meter or other lawful receptacle, depository, or contrivance
    designed to receive or to be operated by lawful coins or other
    currency of the United States," and deleted "for any 1-cent, 2-
    cent, 3-cent, or 5-cent piece, authorized by law, or for coins of
    equal value" after "intended to be used as money".
      Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 87-667 substituted "device, paper, or other
    thing similar" for "device similar", "paper, or other device issued
    or authorized in connection with rationing or food and fiber
    distribution" for "or other device issued or authorized in
    connection with rationing", and "devices, papers, or other things
    are intended to be used unlawfully" for "or other devices may be
    used unlawfully", inserted "or other currency" before "of the
    United States" in two places, and "lawful" before "receptacle,
    depository", and provided that nothing in this section shall create
    immunity from criminal prosecution under the laws of any State,
    Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, territory, possession, or the District
    of Columbia.
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