TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I - CRIMES
CHAPTER 83 - POSTAL SERVICE
Sec. 1709. Theft of mail matter by officer or employee
Whoever, being a Postal Service officer or employee, embezzles
any letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail, or any article or
thing contained therein entrusted to him or which comes into his
possession intended to be conveyed by mail, or carried or delivered
by any carrier, messenger, agent, or other person employed in any
department of the Postal Service, or forwarded through or delivered
from any post office or station thereof established by authority of
the Postmaster General or of the Postal Service; or steals,
abstracts, or removes from any such letter, package, bag, or mail,
any article or thing contained therein, shall be fined under this
title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 780; Pub. L. 91-375, Sec.
6(j)(19)(A), Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 778; Pub. L. 103-322, title
XXXIII, Sec. 330016(1)(I), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)
HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES
Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Sec. 318 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch.
321, Sec. 195, 35 Stat. 1125).
The provisions of said section 318 of title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed.,
were incorporated in this section and section 1703 of this title.
The fine of "$500" was increased to "$2,000" as more
proportionate to the imprisonment provision and to conform with
other comparable sections. (See sections 1702 and 1708 of this
Changes were made in phraseology.
1994 - Pub. L. 103-322 substituted "fined under this title" for
"fined not more than $2,000".
1970 - Pub. L. 91-375 substituted "officer" for "postmaster" in
section catchline, and in text substituted "Postal Service officer
or employee" for "postmaster or Postal Service employee" and
"entrusted" for "intrusted" and inserted "or of the Postal Service"
after "Postmaster General".
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1970 AMENDMENT
Amendment by Pub. L. 91-375 effective within 1 year after Aug.
12, 1970, on date established therefor by Board of Governors of
United States Postal Service and published by it in 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
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