18 USC 491 - Sec. 491. Tokens or paper used as money

Quotes:18 USC Sec. 491
 
CONTENT

§491. Tokens or paper used as money

(a) Whoever, being 18 years of age or over, not lawfully authorized, makes, issues, or passes any coin, card, token, or device in metal, or its compounds, intended to be used as money, or whoever, being 18 years of age or over, with intent to defraud, makes, utters, inserts, or uses any card, token, slug, disk, device, paper, or other thing similar in size and shape to any of the lawful coins or other currency of the United States or any coin or other currency not legal tender in the United States, to procure anything of value, or the use or enjoyment of any property or service from any automatic merchandise vending machine, postage-stamp machine, turnstile, fare box, coinbox telephone, parking meter or other lawful receptacle, depository, or contrivance designed to receive or to be operated by lawful coins or other currency of the United States, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(b) Whoever manufactures, sells, offers, or advertises for sale, or exposes or keeps with intent to furnish or sell any token, slug, disk, device, paper, or other thing similar in size and shape to any of the lawful coins or other currency of the United States, or any token, disk, paper, or other device issued or authorized in connection with rationing or food and fiber distribution by any agency of the United States, with knowledge or reason to believe that such tokens, slugs, disks, devices, papers, or other things are intended to be used unlawfully or fraudulently to procure anything of value, or the use or enjoyment of any property or service from any automatic merchandise vending machine, postage-stamp machine, turnstile, fare box, coinbox telephone, parking meter, or other lawful receptacle, depository, or contrivance designed to receive or to be operated by lawful coins or other currency of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

Nothing contained in this section shall create immunity from criminal prosecution under the laws of any State, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, territory, possession, or the District of Columbia.

(c) “Knowledge or reason to believe”, within the meaning of paragraph (b) of this section, may be shown by proof that any law-enforcement officer has, prior to the commission of the offense with which the defendant is charged, informed the defendant that tokens, slugs, disks, or other devices of the kind manufactured, sold, offered, or advertised for sale by him or exposed or kept with intent to furnish or sell, are being used unlawfully or fraudulently to operate certain specified automatic merchandise vending machines, postage-stamp machines, turnstiles, fare boxes, coin-box telephones, parking meters, or other receptacles, depositories, or contrivances, designed to receive or to be operated by lawful coins of the United States.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 710; Pub. L. 87–667, Sept. 19, 1962, 76 Stat. 555; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(H), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§282, 282a (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §168, 35 Stat. 1120, and §168a as added Apr. 1, 1944, ch. 151, 58 Stat. 149).

Mandatory punishment provision in subsection (a) was rephrased in the alternative.

Sections were consolidated and changes were made in phraseology.

Reference to persons causing or procuring was omitted as unnecessary in view of definition of “principal” in section 2 of this title.

Punishment provision in paragraph (a) of 5 years was changed to 1 year to make the offense a misdemeanor as was done in paragraph (b) of this section, which represents the latest expression of the intention of Congress. See definition of felony and misdemeanor in section 1 of this title and note thereunder.

In paragraph (b) the $3,000 fine was reduced to $1,000 to conform to paragraph (a) and as more in keeping with the gravity of offense.

Amendments

1994—Subsecs. (a), (b). Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $1,000”.

1962—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 87–667 inserted “being 18 years of age or over,” before “not lawfully authorized”, and “or whoever, being 18 years of age or over, with intent to defraud, makes, utters, inserts, or uses any card, token, slug, disk, device, paper, or other thing similar in size and shape to any of the lawful coins or other currency of the United States or any coin or other currency not legal tender in the United States, to procure anything of value, or the use or enjoyment of any property or service from any automatic merchandise vending machine, postage-stamp machine, turnstile, fare box, coinbox telephone, parking meter or other lawful receptacle, depository, or contrivance designed to receive or to be operated by lawful coins or other currency of the United States,” and deleted “for any 1-cent, 2-cent, 3-cent, or 5-cent piece, authorized by law, or for coins of equal value” after “intended to be used as money”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 87–667 substituted “device, paper, or other thing similar” for “device similar”, “paper, or other device issued or authorized in connection with rationing or food and fiber distribution” for “or other device issued or authorized in connection with rationing”, and “devices, papers, or other things are intended to be used unlawfully” for “or other devices may be used unlawfully”, inserted “or other currency” before “of the United States” in two places, and “lawful” before “receptacle, depository”, and provided that nothing in this section shall create immunity from criminal prosecution under the laws of any State, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, territory, possession, or the District of Columbia.