TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I - CRIMES
CHAPTER 25 - COUNTERFEITING AND FORGERY
Sec. 500. Money orders
Whoever, with intent to defraud, falsely makes, forges,
counterfeits, engraves, or prints any order in imitation of or
purporting to be a blank money order or a money order issued by or
under the direction of the Post Office Department or Postal
Whoever forges or counterfeits the signature or initials of any
person authorized to issue money orders upon or to any money order,
postal note, or blank therefor provided or issued by or under the
direction of the Post Office Department or Postal Service, or post
office department or corporation of any foreign country, and
payable in the United States, or any material signature or
indorsement thereon, or any material signature to any receipt or
certificate of identification thereof; or
Whoever falsely alters, in any material respect, any such money
order or postal note; or
Whoever, with intent to defraud, passes, utters or publishes or
attempts to pass, utter or publish any such forged or altered money
order or postal note, knowing any material initials, signature,
stamp impression or indorsement thereon to be false, forged, or
counterfeited, or any material alteration therein to have been
falsely made; or
Whoever issues any money order or postal note without having
previously received or paid the full amount of money payable
therefor, with the purpose of fraudulently obtaining or receiving,
or fraudulently enabling any other person, either directly or
indirectly, to obtain or receive from the United States or Postal
Service, or any officer, employee, or agent thereof, any sum of
money whatever; or
Whoever embezzles, steals, or knowingly converts to his own use
or to the use of another, or without authority converts or disposes
of any blank money order form provided by or under the authority of
the Post Office Department or Postal Service; or
Whoever receives or possesses any such money order form with the
intent to convert it to his own use or gain or use or gain of
another knowing it to have been embezzled, stolen or converted; or
Whoever, with intent to defraud the United States, the Postal
Service, or any person, transmits, presents, or causes to be
transmitted or presented, any money order or postal note knowing
the same -
(1) to contain any forged or counterfeited signature, initials,
or any stamped impression, or
(2) to contain any material alteration therein unlawfully made,
(3) to have been unlawfully issued without previous payment of
the amount required to be paid upon such issue, or
(4) to have been stamped without lawful authority; or
Whoever steals, or with intent to defraud or without being
lawfully authorized by the Post Office Department or Postal
Service, receives, possesses, disposes of or attempts to dispose of
any postal money order machine or any stamp, tool, or instrument
specifically designed to be used in preparing or filling out the
blanks on postal money order forms -
Shall be fined under this title (!1) or imprisoned not more than
five years, or both.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 712; Pub. L. 91-375, Sec.
6(j)(5), Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 777; Pub. L. 92-430, Sept. 23,
1972, 86 Stat. 722; Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII, Sec.
330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)
HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES
Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Sec. 347 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch.
321, Sec. 218, 35 Stat. 1131).
References to persons causing, procuring, aiding or assisting
were omitted as unnecessary as such persons are made principals by
section 2 of this title.
Changes were made in phraseology.
1994 - Pub. L. 103-322, which directed the amendment of this
section by substituting "fined under this title" for "fined not
more than $10,000", was executed by making the substitution for
"fined not more than $5,000" in last par., to reflect the probable
intent of Congress.
1972 - Pub. L. 92-430 substituted "a blank money order or a money
order issued by or under the direction of" for "a money order
issued by" and struck out ", or by any officer or employee thereof"
in first par.; substituted "or initials of any person authorized to
issue money orders" for "of any officer or employee of the Postal
Service," in second par.; inserted "or attempts to pass, utter or
publish" before "any such forged" and substituted "material
initials, signature, stamp impression" for "material signature" in
fourth par.; inserted "or Postal Service" after "the United States"
in fifth par.; inserted sixth and seventh pars.; inserted ", the
Postal Service" after "the United States", and substituted
"presents, or causes to be transmitted or presented, any money
order" for "or presents to any officer or employee, or at any
office of the United States, any money order" and designated
material after "knowing the same" as cls. (1) to (3) with minor
changes and added cl. (4) in eighth par.; inserted ninth par., and
enacted provisions of former seventh par. as tenth par.
1970 - Pub. L. 91-375 inserted reference to Postal Service and
substituted "officer or employee" for "postmaster or agent" in
first par. and substituted "officer or employee of the Postal
Service" for "postmaster, assistant postmaster, chief clerk, or
clerk" and "Post Office Department or the Postal Service, or post
office department or corporation of any foreign country" for "Post
Office Department of the United States, or of any foreign country"
in second par.
CHANGE OF NAME
Post Office Department redesignated United States Postal Service
pursuant to Pub. L. 91-375, Sec. 6(o), Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 733,
set out as a note preceding section 101 of Title 39, Postal
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1970 AMENDMENT
Amendment by Pub. L. 91-375 effective within 1 year after Aug.
12, 1970, on date established therefor by the Board of Governors of
the United States Postal Service and published by it in the Federal
Register, see section 15(a) of Pub. L. 91-375, set out as an
Effective Date note preceding section 101 of Title 39, Postal
(!1) See 1994 Amendment note below.
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