274 U.S. 256 (1927), 766, Westfall v. United States

Docket Nº:No. 766
Citation:274 U.S. 256, 47 S.Ct. 629, 71 L.Ed. 1036
Party Name:Westfall v. United States
Case Date:May 16, 1927
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 256

274 U.S. 256 (1927)

47 S.Ct. 629, 71 L.Ed. 1036



United States

No. 766

United States Supreme Court

May 16, 1927

Argued March 8, 9, 1927




1. Section 9 of the Federal Reserve Act, as amended June 21, 1917, is constitutional insofar as it provides that state banks which have joined the Federal Reserve System, their officers, etc., shall

Page 257

be subject to the penalties of Rev.Stats. § 5209, which punishes misapplication, etc., of a bank's funds. P. 258.

2. The acts thus made criminal may be punishable also under the laws of the state. P. 258.

3. It is not a condition to the power of Congress to punish such acts that they result in any loss to the Federal Reserve Banks. P. 258.

4. When necessary in order to prevent an evil, the law may embrace more than the precise thing to be prevented. P. 259.

5. Congress may employ state corporations, with their consent, as federal instrumentalities and make fraud that impair their efficiency crimes. P. 259.

Response to a question certified by the circuit court of appeals arising upon a review of convictions under indictments for aiding and procuring misapplication of state bank funds and conspiracy to misapply them.

HOLMES, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

Westfall was convicted under two indictments, the first of which charged him with aiding and procuring the branch manager of a state bank which was a member of the Federal Reserve System to misapply the funds of the bank. The second indictment charged a conspiracy to misapply the funds of the bank between the same and other parties. Both were based upon the issuing a fraudulent certificate of deposit for ten thousand dollars and the paying the same from the funds of the bank. The Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit certifies this

Page 258


Is the provision of § 9, chapter 6, of the Federal Reserve Act of December 23, 1913 [38 Stat. 259, 260], as amended June 21, 1917 [c. 32, § 3; 40 Stat. 232], and July 1, 1922, constitutional insofar as it provides that

such banks and the officers, agents and employees thereof shall also be subject to the provisions of and the penalties prescribed by

Section 5209 of the Revised Statutes?

The amendment of July 1, 1922, referred to, is, we presume, c. 274, 42 Stat. 821. It has no immediate bearing upon the...

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