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18 U.S. Code § 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.

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., § 318 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, § 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 title.)

Changes were made in phraseology.

Editorial Notes

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”.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
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 Service.