The National Stolen Property Act (NSPA) makes unlawful the transport, receipt or sale of stolen property across state lines or in foreign commerce.

What is Included in the National Stolen Property Act?

The NSPA makes illegal any of the following acts:

  • Transportation
  • Transmittal
  • Transfer
  • Receipt
  • Possession
  • Concealment
  • Storage
  • Barter
  • Sale, or
  • Disposal

of any goods, wares, merchandise, securities, money or articles used in counterfeiting valued at $5,000 or more. The courts have held that the goods need not be stolen in the U.S. nor be owned by a U.S. citizen to be subject to the Act.

Elements of the Crime

The NSPA specifies that violation of the law requires evidence of actual knowledge that the goods were stolen or that the perpetrator should have known. Proof that you did not know the goods were stolen can be admitted as a defense. However, ignorance of the law itself can never be a defense for a crime.

Accused of Violating the National Stolen Property Act?

If you are accused of violating the National Stolen Property Act, you should speak to a criminal attorney to learn more about your rights, your defenses and the complicated legal system.

Victim of Theft in Violation of the National Stolen Property Act?

If you are a victim of a theft subject to the National Stolen Property Act, you should call the police immediately. If there is sufficient evidence, the police will then forward your case to the appropriate authorities to prosecute the person who committed the theft against you.