Historical and Revision Notes
Based on sections 264(t), 982, 1126, 1138d(b), 1316, 1441(b), 1467(b), 1731(b) of title 12, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Banks and Banking, and section 616(b) of title 15, U.S.C. 1940 ed., Commerce and Trade (Dec. 23, 1913, ch. 6, § 12B(t), as added June 16, 1933, ch. 89, § 8, 48 Stat. 178, and amended Aug. 23, 1935, ch. 614, § 101, 49 Stat. 684; July 17, 1916, ch. 245, § 31 (second paragraph), 39 Stat. 383; July 17, 1916, ch. 245, § 211(f), as added Mar. 4, 1923, ch. 252, title I, § 2, 42 Stat. 1460; Mar. 4, 1923, ch. 252, title II, § 216(f), 42 Stat. 1472; Jan. 22, 1932, ch. 8, § 16(b), 47 Stat. 11; July 22, 1932, ch. 522, § 21(b), 47 Stat. 738; June 13, 1933, ch. 64, § 8(b), 48 Stat. 134; June 16, 1933, ch. 98, § 64(b), 48 Stat. 268; June 27, 1934, ch. 847, § 512(b), 48 Stat. 1265).
Each of the nine sections from which this section was derived contained similar provisions with respect to one or more named agencies or corporations. The punishment was the same in each section except that in sections 982, 1126, and 1316 of title 12, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Banks and Banking, the maximum fine was $5,000. This section adopts the $10,000 maximum fine provided in the other six former sections.
This section condenses and simplifies the form of the former sections without change of substance, except where the maximum fine differs as noted above.
The enumeration of “note, bond, debenture, coupon, obligation, instrument, or writing” does not occur in any one of the original sections but is an adequate enumeration of the instruments mentioned in each.
Certain specific agencies are enumerated by name as are “land bank, intermediate credit bank, bank for cooperatives,” but the phrase “or any lending, mortgage, insurance, credit, or savings and loan corporation or association” was used to embrace the following: National Farm Loan Association, Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, Federal Savings and Loan Associations, National Agricultural Credit Corporation, Production Credit Corporations, Production Credit Associations, Home Loan Banks, National Mortgage Associations, and Central Bank for Cooperatives, Regional Agricultural Credit Corporation, or any instrumentalities created for similar purposes.
Reference to persons causing, procuring, aiding or assisting was omitted as unnecessary, such persons being principals by section 2 of this title.
The section was written in two paragraphs; the first denouncing forgery, counterfeiting, and altering; the second, passing, uttering, and publishing. This arrangement, together with the simplified style of the rewritten section, will permit the repeal of similar provisions in at least nine complicated sections now in title 12, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Banks and Banking.
Section 1138d(f) of title 12, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Banks and Banking, was omitted from this revision and recommended for repeal. It provides as follows: “Whoever conspires with another to accomplish any of the acts made unlawful by the preceding provisions of this section shall, on conviction thereof, be subject to the same fine or imprisonment, or both, as is applicable in the case of conviction for doing such unlawful act.”
The only case construing such subsection (f) is United States v. Halbrook, D.C. Mo. 1941, 36 F. Supp. 345, in which the District Judge said by way of obiter dictum in a footnote that “Under this section no overt act need be shown as is true in the case of a prosecution under section 37 of the Criminal Code”, now section 371 of this title.
Indeed the indictment upon which Halbrook was acquitted was drawn under section 88 of title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., now section 371 of this title, which required allegation and proof of an overt act and provided punishment by fine of not more than $10,000, or imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or both. The second indictment charged only substantive violations and involved neither conspiracy section.
It will be noted that section 1138d(f) of title 12, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Banks and Banking, applies in terms only to the Farm Credit Administration, intermediate credit banks, Federal Farm Mortgage Corporation, and by reference to the banks for cooperatives, Production Credit Associations and Production Credit Corporations, and is not applicable to land banks, loan associations, Federal Housing Administration, Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, or other institutions.
It is also noted that in the only reported case involving this section, the United States attorney drew his conspiracy indictment not under section 1138d(f) of title 12, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Banks and Banking, but under section 88 of title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., which is now section 371 of this title, indicating considerable doubt as to the scope and effect of section 1138d(f) of said title 12, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Banks and Banking.
There is no sound reason for differentiating between types of credit, insurance, banking and lending agencies in the punishment of conspiracy or in the requirement as to proof of overt acts. Since conspiracies involving offenses equally serious such as obstruction of justice, bribery, embezzlements, counterfeiting and false statements and offenses against the Treasury of the United States as well as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation are punishable under the general conspiracy statute, the same rule should be applied to lesser agencies.
The blanket provision for punishment of “any person who willfully violates any other provision of this Act” was omitted as useless, in view of the specific provisions for penalties elsewhere in the Act.