18 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2011 Edition
Title 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I - CRIMES
CHAPTER 73 - OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

CHAPTER 73—OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE

Sec.
1501.
Assault on process server.
1502.
Resistance to extradition agent.
1503.
Influencing or injuring officer or juror generally.
1504.
Influencing juror by writing.
1505.
Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees.
1506.
Theft or alteration of record or process; false bail.
1507.
Picketing or parading.
1508.
Recording, listening to, or observing proceedings of grand or petit juries while deliberating or voting.
1509.
Obstruction of court orders.
1510.
Obstruction of criminal investigations.
1511.
Obstruction of State or local law enforcement.
1512.
Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant.
1513.
Retaliating against a witness, victim, or an informant.
1514.
Civil action to restrain harassment of a victim or witness.
1514A.
Civil action to protect against retaliation in fraud cases.
1515.
Definitions for certain provisions; general provision.
1516.
Obstruction of Federal audit.
1517.
Obstructing examination of financial institution.
1518.
Obstruction of criminal investigations of health care offenses.
1519.
Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcy.
1520.
Destruction of corporate audit records.
1521.
Retaliating against a Federal judge or Federal law enforcement officer by false claim or slander of title.

        

Amendments

2008—Pub. L. 110–177, title II, §201(b), Jan. 7, 2008, 121 Stat. 2536, added item 1521.

2002—Pub. L. 107–204, title VIII, §§802(b), 806(b), July 30, 2002, 116 Stat. 801, 804, added items 1514A, 1519, and 1520.

1996—Pub. L. 104–191, title II, §245(b), Aug. 21, 1996, 110 Stat. 2018, added item 1518.

1990—Pub. L. 101–647, title XXV, §2503(b), Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4861, added item 1517.

1988—Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §§7030, 7078(b), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4398, 4406, inserted “; general provision” in item 1515 and added item 1516.

1982—Pub. L. 97–291, §4(b), Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1253, substituted “or juror” for “, juror or witness” after “officer” in item 1503, and added items 1512, 1513, 1514, and 1515.

1970—Pub. L. 91–452, title VIII, §802(b), Oct. 15, 1970, 84 Stat. 937, added item 1511.

1967—Pub. L. 90–123, §1(b), Nov. 3, 1967, 81 Stat. 362, added item 1510.

1962—Pub. L. 87–664, §6(b), Sept. 19, 1962, 76 Stat. 552, substituted “Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees” for “Influencing or injuring witness before agencies and committees” in item 1505.

1960—Pub. L. 86–449, title I, §102, May 6, 1960, 74 Stat. 86, added item 1509.

1956—Act Aug. 2, 1956, ch. 879, §2, 70 Stat. 936, added item 1508.

1950—Act Sept. 23, 1950, ch. 1024, title I, §31(b), 64 Stat. 1019, added item 1507.

§1501. Assault on process server

Whoever knowingly and willfully obstructs, resists, or opposes any officer of the United States, or other person duly authorized, in serving, or attempting to serve or execute, any legal or judicial writ or process of any court of the United States, or United States magistrate judge; or

Whoever assaults, beats, or wounds any officer or other person duly authorized, knowing him to be such officer, or other person so duly authorized, in serving or executing any such writ, rule, order, process, warrant, or other legal or judicial writ or process—

Shall, except as otherwise provided by law, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 769; Pub. L. 90–578, title IV, §402(b)(2), Oct. 17, 1968, 82 Stat. 1118; Pub. L. 101–650, title III, §321, Dec. 1, 1990, 104 Stat. 5117; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(F), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §245 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §140, 35 Stat. 1114).

The phrase “Except as otherwise expressly provided by law” was inserted because sections 2231, 2232, and 2233 of this title provide greater penalties for obstructing service of search warrants.

Mandatory provisions were rephrased in the alternative.

Minor changes were made in phraseology.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $300” in last par.

Change of Name

“United States magistrate judge” substituted for “United States magistrate” in text pursuant to section 321 of Pub. L. 101–650, set out as a note under section 631 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure. Previously, “United States magistrate” substituted for “United States commissioner” pursuant to Pub. L. 90–578. See chapter 43 (§631 et seq.) of Title 28.

Reference to United States magistrate or to magistrate deemed to refer to United States magistrate judge pursuant to section 321 of Pub. L. 101–650, set out as a note under section 631 of Title 28.

Short Title of 2002 Amendment

Pub. L. 107–204, title VIII, §801, July 30, 2002, 116 Stat. 800, provided that: “This title [enacting sections 1348, 1514A, 1519, and 1520 of this title, amending section 523 of Title 11, Bankruptcy, and section 1658 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 994 and 1658 of Title 28] may be cited as the ‘Corporate and Criminal Fraud Accountability Act of 2002’.”

Short Title of 1982 Amendment

Pub. L. 97–291, §1, Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1248, provided: “That this Act [enacting sections 1512 to 1515, 3579, and 3580 of this title, amending sections 1503, 1505, 1510, and 3146 of this title and Rule 32 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 1512 and 3579 of this title] may be cited as the ‘Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982’.”

§1502. Resistance to extradition agent

Whoever knowingly and willfully obstructs, resists, or opposes an extradition agent of the United States in the execution of his duties, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(June 24, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 769; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(F), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §661 (R.S. 5277).

Said section 661 of title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., was incorporated in this section and section 752 of this title.

Words “an extradition agent of the United States” were substituted for “such agent” which was referred to in sections 3182 et seq. of this title.

A fine of “$300” was substituted for “$1,000” as the mandatory maximum to harmonize with similar offenses in this chapter. (See section 1501 of this title.)

Punishment provision was rephrased in the alternative.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $300”.

§1503. Influencing or injuring officer or juror generally

(a) Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, endeavors to influence, intimidate, or impede any grand or petit juror, or officer in or of any court of the United States, or officer who may be serving at any examination or other proceeding before any United States magistrate judge or other committing magistrate, in the discharge of his duty, or injures any such grand or petit juror in his person or property on account of any verdict or indictment assented to by him, or on account of his being or having been such juror, or injures any such officer, magistrate judge, or other committing magistrate in his person or property on account of the performance of his official duties, or corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b). If the offense under this section occurs in connection with a trial of a criminal case, and the act in violation of this section involves the threat of physical force or physical force, the maximum term of imprisonment which may be imposed for the offense shall be the higher of that otherwise provided by law or the maximum term that could have been imposed for any offense charged in such case.

(b) The punishment for an offense under this section is—

(1) in the case of a killing, the punishment provided in sections 1111 and 1112;

(2) in the case of an attempted killing, or a case in which the offense was committed against a petit juror and in which a class A or B felony was charged, imprisonment for not more than 20 years, a fine under this title, or both; and

(3) in any other case, imprisonment for not more than 10 years, a fine under this title, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 769; Pub. L. 97–291, §4(c), Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1253; Pub. L. 103–322, title VI, §60016, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(K), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1974, 2147; Pub. L. 104–214, §1(3), Oct. 1, 1996, 110 Stat. 3017.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §241 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §135, 35 Stat. 1113; June 8, 1945, ch. 178, §1, 59 Stat. 234).

The phrase “other committing magistrate” was substituted for “officer acting as such commissioner” in order to clarify meaning.

Minor changes were made in phraseology.

Amendments

1996—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104–214 inserted at end “If the offense under this section occurs in connection with a trial of a criminal case, and the act in violation of this section involves the threat of physical force or physical force, the maximum term of imprisonment which may be imposed for the offense shall be the higher of that otherwise provided by law or the maximum term that could have been imposed for any offense charged in such case.”

1994—Pub. L. 103–322, §330016(1)(K), which directed the substitution of “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $5,000”, could not be executed because the words “fined not more than $5,000” did not appear in text subsequent to amendment by Pub. L. 103–322, §60016. See below.

Pub. L. 103–322, §60016, designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), substituted “magistrate judge” for “commissioner” in two places and “punished as provided in subsection (b)” for “fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both”, and added subsec. (b).

1982—Pub. L. 97–291, §4(c)(1), substituted “or juror” for “, juror or witness” after “officer” in section catchline.

Pub. L. 97–291, §4(c)(2), (3), substituted in text “grand” for “witness, in any court of the United States or before any United States commissioner or other committing magistrate, or any grand” after “or impede any”, and struck out “injures any party or witness in his person or property on account of his attending or having attended such court or examination before such officer, commissioner, or other committing magistrate, or on account of his testifying or having testified to any matter pending therein, or” after “discharge of his duty, or”.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–291 effective Oct. 12, 1982, see section 9(a) of Pub. L. 97–291, set out as an Effective Date note under section 1512 of this title.

§1504. Influencing juror by writing

Whoever attempts to influence the action or decision of any grand or petit juror of any court of the United States upon any issue or matter pending before such juror, or before the jury of which he is a member, or pertaining to his duties, by writing or sending to him any written communication, in relation to such issue or matter, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the communication of a request to appear before the grand jury.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 770; 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., §243 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §137, 35 Stat. 1113).

Last paragraph was added to remove the possibility that a proper request to appear before a grand jury might be construed as a technical violation of this section.

Minor changes were made in phraseology.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $1,000” in first par.

§1505. Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees

Whoever, with intent to avoid, evade, prevent, or obstruct compliance, in whole or in part, with any civil investigative demand duly and properly made under the Antitrust Civil Process Act, willfully withholds, misrepresents, removes from any place, conceals, covers up, destroys, mutilates, alters, or by other means falsifies any documentary material, answers to written interrogatories, or oral testimony, which is the subject of such demand; or attempts to do so or solicits another to do so; or

Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States, or the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress—

Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 770; Pub. L. 87–664, §6(a), Sept. 19, 1962, 76 Stat. 551; Pub. L. 91–452, title IX, §903, Oct. 15, 1970, 84 Stat. 947; Pub. L. 94–435, title I, §105, Sept. 30, 1976, 90 Stat. 1389; Pub. L. 97–291, §4(d), Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1253; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(K), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147; Pub. L. 108–458, title VI, §6703(a), Dec. 17, 2004, 118 Stat. 3766.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §241a, (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §135a, as added Jan. 13, 1940, ch. 1, 54 Stat. 13; June 8, 1945, ch. 178, §2, 59 Stat. 234).

Word “agency” was substituted for the words “independent establishment, board, commission” in two instances to eliminate any possible ambiguity as to scope of section. (See definitive section 6 of this title.)

Minor changes were made in phraseology.

References in Text

The Antitrust Civil Process Act, referred to in text, is Pub. L. 87–664, Sept. 19, 1962, 76 Stat. 548, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 34 (§1311 et seq.) of Title 15, Commerce and Trade. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1311 of Title 15 and Tables.

Amendments

2004—Pub. L. 108–458, which directed amendment of the third undesignated paragraph of this section by substituting “be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both” for “be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both”, was executed by making the substitution for “be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both”, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $5,000” in last par.

1982—Pub. L. 97–291 struck out first two paragraphs which provided, respectively, that whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, endeavored to influence, intimidate, or impede any witness in any proceeding pending before any department or agency of the United States, or in connection with any inquiry or investigation being had by either House, or any committee of either House, or any joint committee of the Congress, and whoever injured any party or witness in his person or property on account of his attending or having attended such proceeding, inquiry, or investigation, or on account of his testifying or having testified to any matter pending therein, would be subject to the penalty set forth in the last paragraph, and in the fourth paragraph substituted “any pending” for “such” after “law under which”, and substituted “any” for “such” before “department” and before “inquiry”.

1976—Pub. L. 94–435 struck out “section 1968 of this title” after “Antitrust Civil Process Act”, inserted “withholds, misrepresents” after “willfully”, “covers up” after “conceals”, “answers to written interrogatories, or oral testimony”, after “any documentary material”, and “or attempts to do so or solicits another to do so;” after “such demand”.

1970—Pub. L. 91–452 inserted reference to section 1968 of this title.

1962—Pub. L. 87–664 substituted section catchline “Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees” for “Influencing or injuring witness before agencies and committees” and punished the willful removal, concealment, destruction, mutilation, alteration or falsification of documents which were the subject of a demand under the Antitrust Civil Process Act if done with the intent to prevent compliance with a civil investigative demand.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–291 effective Oct. 12, 1982, see section 9(a) of Pub. L. 97–291, set out as an Effective Date note under section 1512 of this title.

Effective Date of 1976 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 94–435 effective Sept. 30, 1976, see section 106 of Pub. L. 94–435, set out as a note under section 1311 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

§1506. Theft or alteration of record or process; false bail

Whoever feloniously steals, takes away, alters, falsifies, or otherwise avoids any record, writ, process, or other proceeding, in any court of the United States, whereby any judgment is reversed, made void, or does not take effect; or

Whoever acknowledges, or procures to be acknowledged in any such court, any recognizance, bail, or judgment, in the name of any other person not privy or consenting to the same—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 770; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(K), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §233 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §127, 35 Stat. 1111).

The term of imprisonment was reduced from 7 to 5 years, to conform the punishment with like ones for similar offenses. (See section 1503 of this title.)

Minor changes were made in phraseology.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $5,000” in last par.

§1507. Picketing or parading

Whoever, with the intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer, in the discharge of his duty, pickets or parades in or near a building housing a court of the United States, or in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge, juror, witness, or court officer, or with such intent uses any sound-truck or similar device or resorts to any other demonstration in or near any such building or residence, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

Nothing in this section shall interfere with or prevent the exercise by any court of the United States of its power to punish for contempt.

(Added Sept. 23, 1950, ch. 1024, title I, §31(a), 64 Stat. 1018; amended Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(K), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $5,000” in first par.

§1508. Recording, listening to, or observing proceedings of grand or petit juries while deliberating or voting

Whoever knowingly and willfully, by any means or device whatsoever—

(a) records, or attempts to record, the proceedings of any grand or petit jury in any court of the United States while such jury is deliberating or voting; or

(b) listens to or observes, or attempts to listen to or observe, the proceedings of any grand or petit jury of which he is not a member in any court of the United States while such jury is deliberating or voting—


shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

Nothing in paragraph (a) of this section shall be construed to prohibit the taking of notes by a grand or petit juror in any court of the United States in connection with and solely for the purpose of assisting him in the performance of his duties as such juror.

(Added Aug. 2, 1956, ch. 879, §1, 70 Stat. 935; amended Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(H), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, §601(f)(13), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3500.)

Amendments

1996—Pub. L. 104–294 realigned margins for provisions beginning “shall be fined” and ending “one year, or both.”

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

§1509. Obstruction of court orders

Whoever, by threats or force, willfully prevents, obstructs, impedes, or interferes with, or willfully attempts to prevent, obstruct, impede, or interfere with, the due exercise of rights or the performance of duties under any order, judgment, or decree of a court of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

No injunctive or other civil relief against the conduct made criminal by this section shall be denied on the ground that such conduct is a crime.

(Added Pub. L. 86–449, title I, §101, May 6, 1960, 74 Stat. 86; amended Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(H), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $1,000” in first par.

§1510. Obstruction of criminal investigations

(a) Whoever willfully endeavors by means of bribery to obstruct, delay, or prevent the communication of information relating to a violation of any criminal statute of the United States by any person to a criminal investigator shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(b)(1) Whoever, being an officer of a financial institution, with the intent to obstruct a judicial proceeding, directly or indirectly notifies any other person about the existence or contents of a subpoena for records of that financial institution, or information that has been furnished in response to that subpoena, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(2) Whoever, being an officer of a financial institution, directly or indirectly notifies—

(A) a customer of that financial institution whose records are sought by a subpoena for records; or

(B) any other person named in that subpoena;


about the existence or contents of that subpoena or information that has been furnished in response to that subpoena, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(3) As used in this subsection—

(A) the term “an officer of a financial institution” means an officer, director, partner, employee, agent, or attorney of or for a financial institution; and

(B) the term “subpoena for records” means a Federal grand jury subpoena or a Department of Justice subpoena (issued under section 3486 of title 18), for customer records that has been served relating to a violation of, or a conspiracy to violate—

(i) section 215, 656, 657, 1005, 1006, 1007, 1014, 1344, 1956, 1957, or chapter 53 of title 31; or

(ii) section 1341 or 1343 affecting a financial institution.


(c) As used in this section, the term “criminal investigator” means any individual duly authorized by a department, agency, or armed force of the United States to conduct or engage in investigations of or prosecutions for violations of the criminal laws of the United States.

(d)(1) Whoever—

(A) acting as, or being, an officer, director, agent or employee of a person engaged in the business of insurance whose activities affect interstate commerce, or

(B) is engaged in the business of insurance whose activities affect interstate commerce or is involved (other than as an insured or beneficiary under a policy of insurance) in a transaction relating to the conduct of affairs of such a business,


with intent to obstruct a judicial proceeding, directly or indirectly notifies any other person about the existence or contents of a subpoena for records of that person engaged in such business or information that has been furnished to a Federal grand jury in response to that subpoena, shall be fined as provided by this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(2) As used in paragraph (1), the term “subpoena for records” means a Federal grand jury subpoena for records that has been served relating to a violation of, or a conspiracy to violate, section 1033 of this title.

(e) Whoever, having been notified of the applicable disclosure prohibitions or confidentiality requirements of section 2709(c)(1) of this title, section 626(d)(1) or 627(c)(1) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681u(d)(1) or 1681v(c)(1)), section 1114(a)(3)(A) or 1114(a)(5)(D)(i) of the Right to Financial Privacy Act 1 (12 U.S.C. 3414(a)(3)(A) or 3414(a)(5)(D)(i)), or section 802(b)(1) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 436(b)(1)), knowingly and with the intent to obstruct an investigation or judicial proceeding violates such prohibitions or requirements applicable by law to such person shall be imprisoned for not more than five years, fined under this title, or both.

(Added Pub. L. 90–123, §1(a), Nov. 3, 1967, 81 Stat. 362; amended Pub. L. 97–291, §4(e), Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1253; Pub. L. 101–73, title IX, §962(c), Aug. 9, 1989, 103 Stat. 502; Pub. L. 102–550, title XV, §1528, Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 4065; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXII, §320604(c), title XXXIII, §330016(1)(K), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2119, 2147; Pub. L. 104–191, title II, §248(c), Aug. 21, 1996, 110 Stat. 2020; Pub. L. 109–177, title I, §117, Mar. 9, 2006, 120 Stat. 217; Pub. L. 111–148, title X, §10606(d)(1), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 1008.)

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 111–148, §10606(d)(1)(A), struck out “to the grand jury” after “has been furnished”.

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 111–148, §10606(d)(1)(B)(ii), struck out “to the grand jury” after “has been furnished” in concluding provisions.

Subsec. (b)(2)(A). Pub. L. 111–148, §10606(d)(1)(B)(i), substituted “subpoena for records” for “grand jury subpoena”.

2006—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 109–177 added subsec. (e).

1996—Subsec. (b)(3)(B). Pub. L. 104–191 which directed the insertion of “or a Department of Justice subpoena (issued under section 3486 of title 18),” after “subpoena”, was executed by making the insertion after “subpoena” the second place it appeared to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–322, §330016(1)(K), substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $5,000”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 103–322, §320604(c), added subsec. (d).

1992—Subsec. (b)(3)(B)(i). Pub. L. 102–550 substituted “1344, 1956, 1957, or chapter 53 of title 31” for “or 1344”.

1989—Subsecs. (b), (c). Pub. L. 101–73 added subsec. (b) and redesignated former subsec. (b) as (c).

1982—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–291 struck out “, misrepresentation, intimidation, or force or threats thereof” after “bribery”, and struck out provision applying the penalties provided by this subsection to whoever injured any person in his person or property on account of the giving by such person or any other person of any information relating to a violation of any criminal statute of the United States to any criminal investigator.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–291 effective Oct. 12, 1982, see section 9(a) of Pub. L. 97–291, set out as an Effective Date note under section 1512 of this title.

1 So in original. Probably should be followed by “of 1978”.

§1511. Obstruction of State or local law enforcement

(a) It shall be unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to obstruct the enforcement of the criminal laws of a State or political subdivision thereof, with the intent to facilitate an illegal gambling business if—

(1) one or more of such persons does any act to effect the object of such a conspiracy;

(2) one or more of such persons is an official or employee, elected, appointed, or otherwise, of such State or political subdivision; and

(3) one or more of such persons conducts, finances, manages, supervises, directs, or owns all or part of an illegal gambling business.


(b) As used in this section—

(1) “illegal gambling business” means a gambling business which—

(i) is a violation of the law of a State or political subdivision in which it is conducted;

(ii) involves five or more persons who conduct, finance, manage, supervise, direct, or own all or part of such business; and

(iii) has been or remains in substantially continuous operation for a period in excess of thirty days or has a gross revenue of $2,000 in any single day.


(2) “gambling” includes but is not limited to pool-selling, bookmaking, maintaining slot machines, roulette wheels, or dice tables, and conducting lotteries, policy, bolita or numbers games, or selling chances therein.

(3) “State” means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territory or possession of the United States.


(c) This section shall not apply to any bingo game, lottery, or similar game of chance conducted by an organization exempt from tax under paragraph (3) of subsection (c) of section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, if no part of the gross receipts derived from such activity inures to the benefit of any private shareholder, member, or employee of such organization, except as compensation for actual expenses incurred by him in the conduct of such activity.

(d) Whoever violates this section shall be punished by a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both.

(Added Pub. L. 91–452, title VIII, §802(a), Oct. 15, 1970, 84 Stat. 936; amended Pub. L. 99–514, §2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(2)(C), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.)

References in Text

Paragraph (3) of subsection (c) of section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (c), is classified to section 501(c)(3) of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fine under this title” for “fine of not more than $20,000”.

1986—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 99–514 substituted “Internal Revenue Code of 1986” for “Internal Revenue Code of 1954”.

Congressional Statement of Findings

Section 801 of title VIII of Pub. L. 91–452 provided that: “The Congress finds that illegal gambling involves widespread use of, and has an effect upon, interstate commerce and the facilities thereof.”

Priority of State Laws

Section 811 of title VIII of Pub. L. 91–452 provided that: “No provision of this title [enacting this section and section 1955 of this title, amending section 2516 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section and section 1955 of this title] indicates an intent on the part of the Congress to occupy the field in which such provision operates to the exclusion of the law of a state or possession, or a political subdivision of a State or possession, on the same subject matter, or to relieve any person of any obligation imposed by any law of any State or possession, or political subdivision of a State or possession.”

§1512. Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant

(a)(1) Whoever kills or attempts to kill another person, with intent to—

(A) prevent the attendance or testimony of any person in an official proceeding;

(B) prevent the production of a record, document, or other object, in an official proceeding; or

(C) prevent the communication by any person to a law enforcement officer or judge of the United States of information relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense or a violation of conditions of probation, parole, or release pending judicial proceedings;


shall be punished as provided in paragraph (3).

(2) Whoever uses physical force or the threat of physical force against any person, or attempts to do so, with intent to—

(A) influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding;

(B) cause or induce any person to—

(i) withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document, or other object, from an official proceeding;

(ii) alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal an object with intent to impair the integrity or availability of the object for use in an official proceeding;

(iii) evade legal process summoning that person to appear as a witness, or to produce a record, document, or other object, in an official proceeding; or

(iv) be absent from an official proceeding to which that person has been summoned by legal process; or


(C) hinder, delay, or prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer or judge of the United States of information relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense or a violation of conditions of probation, supervised release, parole, or release pending judicial proceedings;


shall be punished as provided in paragraph (3).

(3) The punishment for an offense under this subsection is—

(A) in the case of a killing, the punishment provided in sections 1111 and 1112;

(B) in the case of—

(i) an attempt to murder; or

(ii) the use or attempted use of physical force against any person;


imprisonment for not more than 30 years; and

(C) in the case of the threat of use of physical force against any person, imprisonment for not more than 20 years.


(b) Whoever knowingly uses intimidation, threatens, or corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to—

(1) influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding;

(2) cause or induce any person to—

(A) withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document, or other object, from an official proceeding;

(B) alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal an object with intent to impair the object's integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding;

(C) evade legal process summoning that person to appear as a witness, or to produce a record, document, or other object, in an official proceeding; or

(D) be absent from an official proceeding to which such person has been summoned by legal process; or


(3) hinder, delay, or prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer or judge of the United States of information relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense or a violation of conditions of probation 1 supervised release,,1 parole, or release pending judicial proceedings;


shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

(c) Whoever corruptly—

(1) alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object's integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; or

(2) otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so,


shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

(d) Whoever intentionally harasses another person and thereby hinders, delays, prevents, or dissuades any person from—

(1) attending or testifying in an official proceeding;

(2) reporting to a law enforcement officer or judge of the United States the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense or a violation of conditions of probation 1 supervised release,,1 parole, or release pending judicial proceedings;

(3) arresting or seeking the arrest of another person in connection with a Federal offense; or

(4) causing a criminal prosecution, or a parole or probation revocation proceeding, to be sought or instituted, or assisting in such prosecution or proceeding;


or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both.

(e) In a prosecution for an offense under this section, it is an affirmative defense, as to which the defendant has the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence, that the conduct consisted solely of lawful conduct and that the defendant's sole intention was to encourage, induce, or cause the other person to testify truthfully.

(f) For the purposes of this section—

(1) an official proceeding need not be pending or about to be instituted at the time of the offense; and

(2) the testimony, or the record, document, or other object need not be admissible in evidence or free of a claim of privilege.


(g) In a prosecution for an offense under this section, no state of mind need be proved with respect to the circumstance—

(1) that the official proceeding before a judge, court, magistrate judge, grand jury, or government agency is before a judge or court of the United States, a United States magistrate judge, a bankruptcy judge, a Federal grand jury, or a Federal Government agency; or

(2) that the judge is a judge of the United States or that the law enforcement officer is an officer or employee of the Federal Government or a person authorized to act for or on behalf of the Federal Government or serving the Federal Government as an adviser or consultant.


(h) There is extraterritorial Federal jurisdiction over an offense under this section.

(i) A prosecution under this section or section 1503 may be brought in the district in which the official proceeding (whether or not pending or about to be instituted) was intended to be affected or in the district in which the conduct constituting the alleged offense occurred.

(j) If the offense under this section occurs in connection with a trial of a criminal case, the maximum term of imprisonment which may be imposed for the offense shall be the higher of that otherwise provided by law or the maximum term that could have been imposed for any offense charged in such case.

(k) Whoever conspires to commit any offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties as those prescribed for the offense the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.

(Added Pub. L. 97–291, §4(a), Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1249; amended Pub. L. 99–646, §61, Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3614; Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §7029(a), (c), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4397, 4398; Pub. L. 101–650, title III, §321, Dec. 1, 1990, 104 Stat. 5117; Pub. L. 103–322, title VI, §60018, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(O), (U), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1975, 2148; Pub. L. 104–214, §1(2), Oct. 1, 1996, 110 Stat. 3017; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, §604(b)(31), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3508; Pub. L. 107–204, title XI, §1102, July 30, 2002, 116 Stat. 807; Pub. L. 107–273, div. B, title III, §3001(a), (c)(1), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1803, 1804; Pub. L. 110–177, title II, §205, Jan. 7, 2008, 121 Stat. 2537.)

Amendments

2008—Subsec. (a)(3)(A). Pub. L. 110–177, §205(1)(A), amended subpar. (A) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (A) read as follows: “in the case of murder (as defined in section 1111), the death penalty or imprisonment for life, and in the case of any other killing, the punishment provided in section 1112;”.

Subsec. (a)(3)(B). Pub. L. 110–177, §205(1)(B), substituted “30 years” for “20 years” in concluding provisions.

Subsec. (a)(3)(C). Pub. L. 110–177, §205(1)(C), substituted “20 years” for “10 years”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 110–177, §205(2), substituted “20 years” for “ten years” in concluding provisions.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 110–177, §205(3), substituted “3 years” for “one year” in concluding provisions.

2002—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 107–273, §3001(a)(1)(A), substituted “as provided in paragraph (3)” for “as provided in paragraph (2)” in concluding provisions.

Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 107–273, §3001(a)(1)(C), added par. (2). Former par. (2) redesignated (3).

Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 107–273, §3001(a)(1)(B), (D), redesignated par. (2) as (3), added subpars. (B) and (C), and struck out former subpar. (B) which read as follows: “(B) in the case of an attempt, imprisonment for not more than twenty years.”

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 107–273, §3001(a)(2), struck out “or physical force” after “intimidation” in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 107–273, §3001(c)(1), inserted “supervised release,” after “probation”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 107–204 added subsec. (c). Former subsec. (c) redesignated (d).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 107–204 redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d). Former subsec. (d) redesignated (e).

Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 107–273, §3001(c)(1), inserted “supervised release,” after “probation”.

Subsecs. (e) to (j). Pub. L. 107–204 redesignated former subsecs. (d) to (i) as (e) to (j), respectively.

Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 107–273, §3001(a)(3), added subsec. (k).

1996—Subsec. (a)(2)(A). Pub. L. 104–294 inserted “and” after semicolon at end.

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 104–214 added subsec. (i).

1994—Subsec. (a)(2)(A). Pub. L. 103–322, §60018, amended subpar. (A) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (A) read as follows: “(A) in the case of a killing, the punishment provided in sections 1111 and 1112 of this title; and”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–322, §330016(1)(U), substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $250,000” in concluding provisions.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 103–322, §330016(1)(O), substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $25,000” in concluding provisions.

1988—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 100–690, §7029(c), substituted “threatens, or corruptly persuades” for “or threatens”.

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 100–690, §7029(a), added subsec. (h).

1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–646, §61(2), (3), added subsec. (a) and redesignated former subsec. (a) as (b).

Subsecs. (b) to (g). Pub. L. 99–646, §61(1), (3), redesignated former subsec. (a) as (b), inserted “, delay, or prevent”, and redesignated former subsecs. (b) to (f) as (c) to (g), respectively.

Change of Name

Words “magistrate judge” and “United States magistrate judge” substituted for “magistrate” and “United States magistrate”, respectively, in subsec. (f)(1) pursuant to section 321 of Pub. L. 101–650, set out as a note under section 631 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–294 effective Sept. 13, 1994, see section 604(d) of Pub. L. 104–294, set out as a note under section 13 of this title.

Effective Date

Section 9 of Pub. L. 97–291 provided that:

“(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), this Act and the amendments made by this Act [enacting this section and sections 1513 to 1515, 3579, and 3580 of this title, amending sections 1503, 1505, 1510, and 3146 of this title and Rule 32 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section and sections 1501 and 3579 of this title] shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 12, 1982].

“(b)(1) The amendment made by section 2 of this Act [enacting provisions set out as a note under this section] shall apply to presentence reports ordered to be made on or after March 1, 1983.

“(2) The amendments made by section 5 of this Act [enacting sections 3579 and 3580 of this title] shall apply with respect to offenses occurring on or after January 1, 1983.”

Congressional Findings and Declaration of Purposes

Section 2 of Pub. L. 97–291 provided that:

“(a) The Congress finds and declares that:

“(1) Without the cooperation of victims and witnesses, the criminal justice system would cease to function; yet with few exceptions these individuals are either ignored by the criminal justice system or simply used as tools to identify and punish offenders.

“(2) All too often the victim of a serious crime is forced to suffer physical, psychological, or financial hardship first as a result of the criminal act and then as a result of contact with a criminal justice system unresponsive to the real needs of such victim.

“(3) Although the majority of serious crimes falls under the jurisdiction of State and local law enforcement agencies, the Federal Government, and in particular the Attorney General, has an important leadership role to assume in ensuring that victims of crime, whether at the Federal, State, or local level, are given proper treatment by agencies administering the criminal justice system.

“(4) Under current law, law enforcement agencies must have cooperation from a victim of crime and yet neither the agencies nor the legal system can offer adequate protection or assistance when the victim, as a result of such cooperation, is threatened or intimidated.

“(5) While the defendant is provided with counsel who can explain both the criminal justice process and the rights of the defendant, the victim or witness has no counterpart and is usually not even notified when the defendant is released on bail, the case is dismissed, a plea to a lesser charge is accepted, or a court date is changed.

“(6) The victim and witness who cooperate with the prosecutor often find that the transportation, parking facilities, and child care services at the court are unsatisfactory and they must often share the pretrial waiting room with the defendant or his family and friends.

“(7) The victim may lose valuable property to a criminal only to lose it again for long periods of time to Federal law enforcement officials, until the trial and sometimes and [sic] appeals are over; many times that property is damaged or lost, which is particularly stressful for the elderly or poor.

“(b) The Congress declares that the purposes of this Act [see Short Title of 1982 Amendment note set out under section 1501 of this title] are—

“(1) to enhance and protect the necessary role of crime victims and witnesses in the criminal justice process;

“(2) to ensure that the Federal Government does all that is possible within limits of available resources to assist victims and witnesses of crime without infringing on the constitutional rights of the defendant; and

“(3) to provide a model for legislation for State and local governments.”

Federal Guidelines for Treatment of Crime Victims and Witnesses in the Criminal Justice System

Section 6 of Pub. L. 97–291, as amended by Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §1408(b), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2177, provided that:

“(a) Within two hundred and seventy days after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 12, 1982], the Attorney General shall develop and implement guidelines for the Department of Justice consistent with the purposes of this Act [see Short Title of 1982 Amendment note set out under section 1501 of this title]. In preparing the guidelines the Attorney General shall consider the following objectives:

“(1) Services to victims of crime.—Law enforcement personnel should ensure that victims routinely receive emergency social and medical services as soon as possible and are given information on the following—

“(A) availability of crime victim compensation (where applicable);

“(B) community-based victim treatment programs;

“(C) the role of the victim in the criminal justice process, including what they can expect from the system as well as what the system expects from them; and

“(D) stages in the criminal justice process of significance to a crime victim, and the manner in which information about such stages can be obtained.

“(2) Notification of availability of protection.—A victim or witness should routinely receive information on steps that law enforcement officers and attorneys for the Government can take to protect victims and witnesses from intimidation.

“(3) Scheduling changes.—All victims and witnesses who have been scheduled to attend criminal justice proceedings should either be notified as soon as possible of any scheduling changes which will affect their appearances or have available a system for alerting witnesses promptly by telephone or otherwise.

“(4) Prompt notification to victims of serious crimes.—Victims, witnesses, relatives of those victims and witnesses who are minors, and relatives of homicide victims should, if such persons provide the appropriate official with a current address and telephone number, receive prompt advance notification, if possible, of—

“(A) the arrest of an accused;

“(B) the initial appearance of an accused before a judicial officer;

“(C) the release of the accused pending judicial proceedings; and

“(D) proceedings in the prosecution and punishment of the accused (including entry of a plea of guilty, trial, sentencing, and, where a term of imprisonment is imposed, a hearing to determine a parole release date and the release of the accused from such imprisonment).

“(5) Consultation with victim.—The victim of a serious crime, or in the case of a minor child or a homicide, the family of the victim, should be consulted by the attorney for the Government in order to obtain the views of the victim or family about the disposition of any Federal criminal case brought as a result of such crime, including the views of the victim or family about—

“(A) dismissal;

“(B) release of the accused pending judicial proceedings;

“(C) plea negotiations; and

“(D) pretrial diversion program.

“(6) Separate waiting area.—Victims and other prosecution witnesses should be provided prior to court appearance a waiting area that is separate from all other witnesses.

“(7) Property return.—Law enforcement agencies and prosecutor should promptly return victim's property held for evidentiary purposes unless there is a compelling law enforcement reason for retaining it.

“(8) Notification to employer.—A victim or witness who so requests should be assisted by law enforcement agencies and attorneys for the Government in informing employers that the need for victim and witness cooperation in the prosecution of the case may necessitate absence of that victim or witness from work. A victim or witness who, as a direct result of a crime or of cooperation with law enforcement agencies or attorneys for the Government, is subjected to serious financial strain, should be assisted by such agencies and attorneys in explaining to creditors the reason for such serious financial strain.

“(9) Training by federal law enforcement training facilities.—Victim assistance education and training should be offered to persons taking courses at Federal law enforcement training facilities and attorneys for the Government so that victims may be promptly, properly, and completely assisted.

“(10) General victim assistance.—The guidelines should also ensure that any other important assistance to victims and witnesses, such as the adoption of transportation, parking, and translator services for victims in court be provided.

“(b) Nothing in this title shall be construed as creating a cause of action against the United States.

“(c) The Attorney General shall assure that all Federal law enforcement agencies outside of the Department of Justice adopt guidelines consistent with subsection (a) of this section.”

[Amendment of section 6 of Pub. L. 97–291 by Pub. L. 98–473, set out above, effective 30 days after Oct. 12, 1984, see section 1409(a) of Pub. L. 98–473, set out as an Effective Date note under section 10601 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.]

1 So in original.

§1513. Retaliating against a witness, victim, or an informant

(a)(1) Whoever kills or attempts to kill another person with intent to retaliate against any person for—

(A) the attendance of a witness or party at an official proceeding, or any testimony given or any record, document, or other object produced by a witness in an official proceeding; or

(B) providing to a law enforcement officer any information relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense or a violation of conditions of probation, supervised release, parole, or release pending judicial proceedings,


shall be punished as provided in paragraph (2).

(2) The punishment for an offense under this subsection is—

(A) in the case of a killing, the punishment provided in sections 1111 and 1112; and

(B) in the case of an attempt, imprisonment for not more than 30 years.


(b) Whoever knowingly engages in any conduct and thereby causes bodily injury to another person or damages the tangible property of another person, or threatens to do so, with intent to retaliate against any person for—

(1) the attendance of a witness or party at an official proceeding, or any testimony given or any record, document, or other object produced by a witness in an official proceeding; or

(2) any information relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense or a violation of conditions of probation, supervised release, parole, or release pending judicial proceedings given by a person to a law enforcement officer;


or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

(c) If the retaliation occurred because of attendance at or testimony in a criminal case, the maximum term of imprisonment which may be imposed for the offense under this section shall be the higher of that otherwise provided by law or the maximum term that could have been imposed for any offense charged in such case.

(d) There is extraterritorial Federal jurisdiction over an offense under this section.

(e) Whoever knowingly, with the intent to retaliate, takes any action harmful to any person, including interference with the lawful employment or livelihood of any person, for providing to a law enforcement officer any truthful information relating to the commission or possible commission of any Federal offense, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.

(f) Whoever conspires to commit any offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties as those prescribed for the offense the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.

(g) A prosecution under this section may be brought in the district in which the official proceeding (whether pending, about to be instituted, or completed) was intended to be affected, or in which the conduct constituting the alleged offense occurred.

(Added Pub. L. 97–291, §4(a), Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1250; amended Pub. L. 103–322, title VI, §60017, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(U), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1975, 2148; Pub. L. 104–214, §1(1), Oct. 1, 1996, 110 Stat. 3017; Pub. L. 107–204, title XI, §1107(a), July 30, 2002, 116 Stat. 810; Pub. L. 107–273, div. B, title III, §3001(b), (c)(2), title IV, §4002(b)(4), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1804, 1807; Pub. L. 110–177, title II, §§204, 206, Jan. 7, 2008, 121 Stat. 2537.)

Amendments

2008—Subsec. (a)(1)(B). Pub. L. 110–177, §206(1), inserted comma after “probation” and struck out comma after “release,”.

Subsec. (a)(2)(B). Pub. L. 110–177, §206(2), substituted “30 years” for “20 years”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 110–177, §206(3)(B), substituted “20 years” for “ten years” in concluding provisions.

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 110–177, §206(3)(A), inserted comma after “probation” and struck out comma after “release,”.

Subsecs. (e), (f). Pub. L. 110–177, §206(4), redesignated subsec. (e) relating to conspiracy to commit any offense under this section as (f).

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 110–177, §204, added subsec. (g).

2002—Subsecs. (a)(1)(B), (b)(2). Pub. L. 107–273, §3001(c)(2), inserted “supervised release,” after “probation”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 107–273, §4002(b)(4), transferred subsec. (d) to appear after subsec. (c).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 107–273, §3001(b), added subsec. (e) relating to conspiracy to commit any offense under this section.

Pub. L. 107–204 added subsec. (e) relating to taking of action harmful to any person for providing law enforcement officer truthful information relating to commission of offense.

1996—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–214, §1(1)(B), added subsec. (c) at end.

Pub. L. 104–214, §1(1)(A), redesignated subsec. (c) as (d).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 104–214, §1(1)(A), redesignated subsec. (c) as (d).

1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–322, §60017(2), added subsec. (a). Former subsec. (a) redesignated (b).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–322, §330016(1)(U), substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $250,000” in concluding provisions.

Pub. L. 103–322, §60017(1), redesignated subsec. (a) as (b). Former subsec. (b) redesignated (c).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 103–322, §60017(1), redesignated subsec. (b) as (c).

Effective Date

Section effective Oct. 12, 1982, see section 9(a) of Pub. L. 97–291, set out as a note under section 1512 of this title.

§1514. Civil action to restrain harassment of a victim or witness

(a)(1) A United States district court, upon application of the attorney for the Government, shall issue a temporary restraining order prohibiting harassment of a victim or witness in a Federal criminal case if the court finds, from specific facts shown by affidavit or by verified complaint, that there are reasonable grounds to believe that harassment of an identified victim or witness in a Federal criminal case exists or that such order is necessary to prevent and restrain an offense under section 1512 of this title, other than an offense consisting of misleading conduct, or under section 1513 of this title.

(2)(A) A temporary restraining order may be issued under this section without written or oral notice to the adverse party or such party's attorney in a civil action under this section if the court finds, upon written certification of facts by the attorney for the Government, that such notice should not be required and that there is a reasonable probability that the Government will prevail on the merits.

(B) A temporary restraining order issued without notice under this section shall be endorsed with the date and hour of issuance and be filed forthwith in the office of the clerk of the court issuing the order.

(C) A temporary restraining order issued under this section shall expire at such time, not to exceed 14 days from issuance, as the court directs; the court, for good cause shown before expiration of such order, may extend the expiration date of the order for up to 14 days or for such longer period agreed to by the adverse party.

(D) When a temporary restraining order is issued without notice, the motion for a protective order shall be set down for hearing at the earliest possible time and takes precedence over all matters except older matters of the same character, and when such motion comes on for hearing, if the attorney for the Government does not proceed with the application for a protective order, the court shall dissolve the temporary restraining order.

(E) If on two days notice to the attorney for the Government, excluding intermediate weekends and holidays, or on such shorter notice as the court may prescribe, the adverse party appears and moves to dissolve or modify the temporary restraining order, the court shall proceed to hear and determine such motion as expeditiously as the ends of justice require.

(F) A temporary restraining order shall set forth the reasons for the issuance of such order, be specific in terms, and describe in reasonable detail (and not by reference to the complaint or other document) the act or acts being restrained.

(b)(1) A United States district court, upon motion of the attorney for the Government, shall issue a protective order prohibiting harassment of a victim or witness in a Federal criminal case if the court, after a hearing, finds by a preponderance of the evidence that harassment of an identified victim or witness in a Federal criminal case exists or that such order is necessary to prevent and restrain an offense under section 1512 of this title, other than an offense consisting of misleading conduct, or under section 1513 of this title.

(2) At the hearing referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection, any adverse party named in the complaint shall have the right to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses.

(3) A protective order shall set forth the reasons for the issuance of such order, be specific in terms, describe in reasonable detail (and not by reference to the complaint or other document) the act or acts being restrained.

(4) The court shall set the duration of effect of the protective order for such period as the court determines necessary to prevent harassment of the victim or witness but in no case for a period in excess of three years from the date of such order's issuance. The attorney for the Government may, at any time within ninety days before the expiration of such order, apply for a new protective order under this section.

(c) As used in this section—

(1) the term “harassment” means a course of conduct directed at a specific person that—

(A) causes substantial emotional distress in such person; and

(B) serves no legitimate purpose; and


(2) the term “course of conduct” means a series of acts over a period of time, however short, indicating a continuity of purpose.

(Added Pub. L. 97–291, §4(a), Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1250; amended Pub. L. 111–16, §3(2), (3), May 7, 2009, 123 Stat. 1607.)

Amendments

2009—Subsec. (a)(2)(C). Pub. L. 111–16, §3(2), substituted “14 days” for “10 days” in two places.

Subsec. (a)(2)(E). Pub. L. 111–16, §3(3), inserted “, excluding intermediate weekends and holidays,” after “the Government”.

Effective Date of 2009 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 111–16 effective Dec. 1, 2009, see section 7 of Pub. L. 111–16, set out as a note under section 109 of Title 11, Bankruptcy.

Effective Date

Section effective Oct. 12, 1982, see section 9(a) of Pub. L. 97–291, set out as a note under section 1512 of this title.

§1514A. Civil action to protect against retaliation in fraud cases

(a) Whistleblower Protection for Employees of Publicly Traded Companies.—No company with a class of securities registered under section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78l), or that is required to file reports under section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78o(d)) including any subsidiary or affiliate whose financial information is included in the consolidated financial statements of such company, or nationally recognized statistical rating organization (as defined in section 3(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c),1 or any officer, employee, contractor, subcontractor, or agent of such company or nationally recognized statistical rating organization, may discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, or in any other manner discriminate against an employee in the terms and conditions of employment because of any lawful act done by the employee—

(1) to provide information, cause information to be provided, or otherwise assist in an investigation regarding any conduct which the employee reasonably believes constitutes a violation of section 1341, 1343, 1344, or 1348, any rule or regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or any provision of Federal law relating to fraud against shareholders, when the information or assistance is provided to or the investigation is conducted by—

(A) a Federal regulatory or law enforcement agency;

(B) any Member of Congress or any committee of Congress; or

(C) a person with supervisory authority over the employee (or such other person working for the employer who has the authority to investigate, discover, or terminate misconduct); or


(2) to file, cause to be filed, testify, participate in, or otherwise assist in a proceeding filed or about to be filed (with any knowledge of the employer) relating to an alleged violation of section 1341, 1343, 1344, or 1348, any rule or regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or any provision of Federal law relating to fraud against shareholders.


(b) Enforcement Action.—

(1) In general.—A person who alleges discharge or other discrimination by any person in violation of subsection (a) may seek relief under subsection (c), by—

(A) filing a complaint with the Secretary of Labor; or

(B) if the Secretary has not issued a final decision within 180 days of the filing of the complaint and there is no showing that such delay is due to the bad faith of the claimant, bringing an action at law or equity for de novo review in the appropriate district court of the United States, which shall have jurisdiction over such an action without regard to the amount in controversy.


(2) Procedure.—

(A) In general.—An action under paragraph (1)(A) shall be governed under the rules and procedures set forth in section 42121(b) of title 49, United States Code.

(B) Exception.—Notification made under section 42121(b)(1) of title 49, United States Code, shall be made to the person named in the complaint and to the employer.

(C) Burdens of proof.—An action brought under paragraph (1)(B) shall be governed by the legal burdens of proof set forth in section 42121(b) of title 49, United States Code.

(D) Statute of limitations.—An action under paragraph (1) shall be commenced not later than 180 days after the date on which the violation occurs, or after the date on which the employee became aware of the violation.

(E) Jury trial.—A party to an action brought under paragraph (1)(B) shall be entitled to trial by jury.


(c) Remedies.—

(1) In general.—An employee prevailing in any action under subsection (b)(1) shall be entitled to all relief necessary to make the employee whole.

(2) Compensatory damages.—Relief for any action under paragraph (1) shall include—

(A) reinstatement with the same seniority status that the employee would have had, but for the discrimination;

(B) the amount of back pay, with interest; and

(C) compensation for any special damages sustained as a result of the discrimination, including litigation costs, expert witness fees, and reasonable attorney fees.


(d) Rights Retained by Employee.—Nothing in this section shall be deemed to diminish the rights, privileges, or remedies of any employee under any Federal or State law, or under any collective bargaining agreement.

(e) Nonenforceability of Certain Provisions Waiving Rights and Remedies or Requiring Arbitration of Disputes.—

(1) Waiver of rights and remedies.—The rights and remedies provided for in this section may not be waived by any agreement, policy form, or condition of employment, including by a predispute arbitration agreement.

(2) Predispute arbitration agreements.—No predispute arbitration agreement shall be valid or enforceable, if the agreement requires arbitration of a dispute arising under this section.

(Added Pub. L. 107–204, title VIII, §806(a), July 30, 2002, 116 Stat. 802; amended Pub. L. 111–203, title IX, §§922(b), (c), 929A, July 21, 2010, 124 Stat. 1848, 1852.)

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 111–203, §929A, in introductory provisions, inserted “including any subsidiary or affiliate whose financial information is included in the consolidated financial statements of such company” after “the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78o(d))”.

Pub. L. 111–203, §922(b), in introductory provisions, inserted “or nationally recognized statistical rating organization (as defined in section 3(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c),” before “or any officer,” and “or nationally recognized statistical rating organization” before “, may discharge,”.

Subsec. (b)(2)(D). Pub. L. 111–203, §922(c)(1)(A), substituted “180” for “90” and inserted “, or after the date on which the employee became aware of the violation” before period at end.

Subsec. (b)(2)(E). Pub. L. 111–203, §922(c)(1)(B), added subpar. (E).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 111–203, §922(c)(2), added subsec. (e).

Effective Date of 2010 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 111–203 effective 1 day after July 21, 2010, except as otherwise provided, see section 4 of Pub. L. 111–203, set out as an Effective Date note under section 5301 of Title 12, Banks and Banking.

1 So in original. Another closing parenthesis probably should precede the comma.

§1515. Definitions for certain provisions; general provision

(a) As used in sections 1512 and 1513 of this title and in this section—

(1) the term “official proceeding” means—

(A) a proceeding before a judge or court of the United States, a United States magistrate judge, a bankruptcy judge, a judge of the United States Tax Court, a special trial judge of the Tax Court, a judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims, or a Federal grand jury;

(B) a proceeding before the Congress;

(C) a proceeding before a Federal Government agency which is authorized by law; or

(D) a proceeding involving the business of insurance whose activities affect interstate commerce before any insurance regulatory official or agency or any agent or examiner appointed by such official or agency to examine the affairs of any person engaged in the business of insurance whose activities affect interstate commerce;


(2) the term “physical force” means physical action against another, and includes confinement;

(3) the term “misleading conduct” means—

(A) knowingly making a false statement;

(B) intentionally omitting information from a statement and thereby causing a portion of such statement to be misleading, or intentionally concealing a material fact, and thereby creating a false impression by such statement;

(C) with intent to mislead, knowingly submitting or inviting reliance on a writing or recording that is false, forged, altered, or otherwise lacking in authenticity;

(D) with intent to mislead, knowingly submitting or inviting reliance on a sample, specimen, map, photograph, boundary mark, or other object that is misleading in a material respect; or

(E) knowingly using a trick, scheme, or device with intent to mislead;


(4) the term “law enforcement officer” means an officer or employee of the Federal Government, or a person authorized to act for or on behalf of the Federal Government or serving the Federal Government as an adviser or consultant—

(A) authorized under law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of an offense; or

(B) serving as a probation or pretrial services officer under this title;


(5) the term “bodily injury” means—

(A) a cut, abrasion, bruise, burn, or disfigurement;

(B) physical pain;

(C) illness;

(D) impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty; or

(E) any other injury to the body, no matter how temporary; and


(6) the term “corruptly persuades” does not include conduct which would be misleading conduct but for a lack of a state of mind.


(b) As used in section 1505, the term “corruptly” means acting with an improper purpose, personally or by influencing another, including making a false or misleading statement, or withholding, concealing, altering, or destroying a document or other information.

(c) This chapter does not prohibit or punish the providing of lawful, bona fide, legal representation services in connection with or anticipation of an official proceeding.

(Added Pub. L. 97–291, §4(a), Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1252; amended Pub. L. 99–646, §50(b), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3605; Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §7029(b), (d), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4398; Pub. L. 101–650, title III, §321, Dec. 1, 1990, 104 Stat. 5117; Pub. L. 102–572, title IX, §902(b)(1), Oct. 29, 1992, 106 Stat. 4516; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXII, §320604(a), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2118; Pub. L. 104–292, §3, Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3460; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, §604(b)(39), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3509.)

Amendments

1996—Subsec. (a)(1)(D). Pub. L. 104–294 struck out “or” after semicolon at end.

Subsecs. (b), (c). Pub. L. 104–292 added subsec. (b) and redesignated former subsec. (b) as (c).

1994—Subsec. (a)(1)(D). Pub. L. 103–322 added subpar. (D).

1992—Subsec. (a)(1)(A). Pub. L. 102–572 substituted “United States Court of Federal Claims” for “United States Claims Court”.

1988—Subsec. (a)(1)(A). Pub. L. 100–690, §7029(b), inserted “a judge of the United States Tax Court, a special trial judge of the Tax Court, a judge of the United States Claims Court,” after “bankruptcy judge,”.

Subsec. (a)(6). Pub. L. 100–690, §7029(d), added par. (6).

1986—Pub. L. 99–646 inserted “; general provision” in section catchline, designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), and added subsec. (b).

Change of Name

“United States magistrate judge” substituted for “United States magistrate” in subsec. (a)(1)(A) pursuant to section 321 of Pub. L. 101–650, set out as a note under section 631 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–294 effective Sept. 13, 1994, see section 604(d) of Pub. L. 104–294, set out as a note under section 13 of this title.

Effective Date of 1992 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 102–572 effective Oct. 29, 1992, see section 911 of Pub. L. 102–572, set out as a note under section 171 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effective Date

Section effective Oct. 12, 1982, see section 9(a) of Pub. L. 97–291, set out as a note under section 1512 of this title.

§1516. Obstruction of Federal audit

(a) Whoever, with intent to deceive or defraud the United States, endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede a Federal auditor in the performance of official duties relating to a person, entity, or program receiving in excess of $100,000, directly or indirectly, from the United States in any 1 year period under a contract or subcontract, grant, or cooperative agreement, or relating to any property that is security for a mortgage note that is insured, guaranteed, acquired, or held by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to any Act administered by the Secretary, or relating to any property that is security for a loan that is made or guaranteed under title V of the Housing Act of 1949, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(b) For purposes of this section—

(1) the term “Federal auditor” means any person employed on a full- or part-time or contractual basis to perform an audit or a quality assurance inspection for or on behalf of the United States; and

(2) the term “in any 1 year period” has the meaning given to the term “in any one-year period” in section 666.

(Added Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §7078(a), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4406; amended Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXII, §320609, Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2120; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, §604(b)(43), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3509; Pub. L. 105–65, title V, §564, Oct. 27, 1997, 111 Stat. 1420; Pub. L. 106–569, title VII, §709(b), Dec. 27, 2000, 114 Stat. 3018; Pub. L. 107–273, div. A, title II, §205(c), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1778.)

References in Text

The Housing Act of 1949, referred to in subsec. (a), is act July 15, 1949, ch. 338, 63 Stat. 413, as amended. Title V of the Act is classified generally to subchapter III (§1471 et seq.) of chapter 8A of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1441 of Title 42 and Tables.

Amendments

2002—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 107–273 inserted “, entity, or program” after “person” and “grant, or cooperative agreement,” after “subcontract,”.

2000—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 106–569 inserted “or relating to any property that is security for a loan that is made or guaranteed under title V of the Housing Act of 1949,” before “shall be fined under this title”.

1997—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 105–65 inserted “or relating to any property that is security for a mortgage note that is insured, guaranteed, acquired, or held by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to any Act administered by the Secretary,” after “under a contract or subcontract,”.

1996—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 104–294 inserted “and” after semicolon at end.

1994—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “section—” for “section”, inserted “(1)” before “the term”, substituted semicolon for the period at end, and added par. (2).

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–294 effective Sept. 13, 1994, see section 604(d) of Pub. L. 104–294, set out as a note under section 13 of this title.

§1517. Obstructing examination of financial institution

Whoever corruptly obstructs or attempts to obstruct any examination of a financial institution by an agency of the United States with jurisdiction to conduct an examination of such financial institution shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(Added Pub. L. 101–647, title XXV, §2503(a), Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4861.)

§1518. Obstruction of criminal investigations of health care offenses

(a) Whoever willfully prevents, obstructs, misleads, delays or attempts to prevent, obstruct, mislead, or delay the communication of information or records relating to a violation of a Federal health care offense to a criminal investigator shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(b) As used in this section the term “criminal investigator” means any individual duly authorized by a department, agency, or armed force of the United States to conduct or engage in investigations for prosecutions for violations of health care offenses.

(Added Pub. L. 104–191, title II, §245(a), Aug. 21, 1996, 110 Stat. 2017.)

§1519. Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcy

Whoever knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States or any case filed under title 11, or in relation to or contemplation of any such matter or case, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

(Added Pub. L. 107–204, title VIII, §802(a), July 30, 2002, 116 Stat. 800.)

§1520. Destruction of corporate audit records

(a)(1) Any accountant who conducts an audit of an issuer of securities to which section 10A(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78j–1(a)) applies, shall maintain all audit or review workpapers for a period of 5 years from the end of the fiscal period in which the audit or review was concluded.

(2) The Securities and Exchange Commission shall promulgate, within 180 days, after adequate notice and an opportunity for comment, such rules and regulations, as are reasonably necessary, relating to the retention of relevant records such as workpapers, documents that form the basis of an audit or review, memoranda, correspondence, communications, other documents, and records (including electronic records) which are created, sent, or received in connection with an audit or review and contain conclusions, opinions, analyses, or financial data relating to such an audit or review, which is conducted by any accountant who conducts an audit of an issuer of securities to which section 10A(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78j–1(a)) applies. The Commission may, from time to time, amend or supplement the rules and regulations that it is required to promulgate under this section, after adequate notice and an opportunity for comment, in order to ensure that such rules and regulations adequately comport with the purposes of this section.

(b) Whoever knowingly and willfully violates subsection (a)(1), or any rule or regulation promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission under subsection (a)(2), shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to diminish or relieve any person of any other duty or obligation imposed by Federal or State law or regulation to maintain, or refrain from destroying, any document.

(Added Pub. L. 107–204, title VIII, §802(a), July 30, 2002, 116 Stat. 800.)

§1521. Retaliating against a Federal judge or Federal law enforcement officer by false claim or slander of title

Whoever files, attempts to file, or conspires to file, in any public record or in any private record which is generally available to the public, any false lien or encumbrance against the real or personal property of an individual described in section 1114, on account of the performance of official duties by that individual, knowing or having reason to know that such lien or encumbrance is false or contains any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both.

(Added Pub. L. 110–177, title II, §201(a), Jan. 7, 2008, 121 Stat. 2535.)