TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I - CRIMES
CHAPTER 25 - COUNTERFEITING AND FORGERY
Sec. 493. Bonds and obligations of certain lending agencies
Whoever falsely makes, forges, counterfeits or alters any note,
bond, debenture, coupon, obligation, instrument, or writing in
imitation or purporting to be in imitation of, a note, bond,
debenture, coupon, obligation, instrument or writing, issued by the
Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, Home Owners'
Loan Corporation, Farm Credit Administration, Department of Housing
and Urban Development, or any land bank, intermediate credit bank,
insured credit union, bank for cooperatives or any lending,
mortgage, insurance, credit or savings and loan corporation or
association authorized or acting under the laws of the United
States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than
10 years, or both.
Whoever passes, utters, or publishes, or attempts to pass, utter
or publish any note, bond, debenture, coupon, obligation,
instrument or document knowing the same to have been falsely made,
forged, counterfeited or altered, contrary to the provisions of
this section, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not
more than 10 years, or both.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 711; Pub. L. 87-353, Sec. 3(p),
Oct. 4, 1961, 75 Stat. 774; Pub. L. 90-19, Sec. 24(a), May 25,
1967, 81 Stat. 27; Pub. L. 91-468, Sec. 3, Oct. 19, 1970, 84 Stat.
1016; Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII, Sec. 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13,
1994, 108 Stat. 2147; Pub. L. 107-56, title III, Sec. 374(i), Oct.
26, 2001, 115 Stat. 341.)
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, Sec. 12B(t), as added June 16, 1933, ch. 89,
Sec. 8, 48 Stat. 178, and amended Aug. 23, 1935, ch. 614, Sec. 101,
49 Stat. 684; July 17, 1916, ch. 245, Sec. 31 (second paragraph),
39 Stat. 383; July 17, 1916, ch. 245, Sec. 211(f), as added Mar. 4,
1923, ch. 252, title I, Sec. 2, 42 Stat. 1460; Mar. 4, 1923, ch.
252, title II, Sec. 216(f), 42 Stat. 1472; Jan. 22, 1932, ch. 8,
Sec. 16(b), 47 Stat. 11; July 22, 1932, ch. 522, Sec. 21(b), 47
Stat. 738; June 13, 1933, ch. 64, Sec. 8(b), 48 Stat. 134; June 16,
1933, ch. 98, Sec. 64(b), 48 Stat. 268; June 27, 1934, ch. 847,
Sec. 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
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
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
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
2001 - Pub. L. 107-56 substituted "10 years" for "five years" in
1994 - Pub. L. 103-322 substituted "fined under this title" for
"fined not more than $10,000" in two places.
1970 - Pub. L. 91-468 inserted National Credit Union
Administration and insured credit unions in enumeration of lending
1967 - Pub. L. 90-19 substituted "Department of Housing and Urban
Development" for "Federal Housing Administration".
1961 - Pub. L. 87-353 struck out reference to the Federal Farm
EXCEPTIONS FROM TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONS
Functions of corporations of Department of Agriculture, boards of
directors and officers of such corporations; Advisory Board of
Commodity Credit Corporation; and Farm Credit Administration or any
agency, officer or entity of, under, or subject to supervision of
said Administration excepted from functions of officers, agencies,
and employees transferred to Secretary of Agriculture by Reorg.
Plan No. 2 of 1953, Sec. 1, eff. June 4, 1953, 18 F.R. 3219, 67
Stat. 633, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government
Organization and Employees.
ABOLITION OF RECONSTRUCTION FINANCE CORPORATION
Section 6(a) of Reorg. Plan No. 1 of 1957, eff. June 30, 1957, 22
F.R. 4633, 71 Stat. 647, set out in the Appendix to Title 5,
Government Organization and Employees, abolished the Reconstruction
ABOLITION OF HOME OWNERS' LOAN CORPORATION
For dissolution and abolition of Home Owners' Loan Corporation,
referred to in this section, by act June 30, 1953, ch. 170, Sec.
21, 67 Stat. 126, see note set out under section 1463 of Title 12,
Banks and Banking.
FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION
Establishment of Farm Credit Administration as independent
agency, and other changes in status, function, etc., see Ex. Ord.
No. 6084 set out prec. section 2241 of Title 12, Banks and Banking.
See also section 2001 et seq. of Title 12.
Transactional Records Access
Clearinghouse, Syracuse University