UNITED STATES V. GILES, 300 U. S. 41 (1937)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Giles, 300 U.S. 41 (1937)

United States v. Giles

No. 329

Argued January 13, 1937

Decided February 1, 1937

300 U.S. 41


1. The rule that criminal statutes must be strictly construed does not require that the words be given their narrowest meaning, or that the evident intent be disregarded. P. 300 U. S. 48.

2. A bank teller who, for the purpose of concealing a shortage in his cash, withholds deposit slips which in the ordinary course of business will go to the bookkeeping department for entry, as a result whereof the ledger understates the amount of the bank's liability to the depositors, violates R.S., § 5209, as amended, which denounces as a misdemeanant

"any officer, director, agent, or employee of any Federal reserve bank, or a member bank . . . who makes any false entry in any book, report, or statement of such . . . bank, with intent in any case to injure or defraud . . ."

Pp. 300 U. S. 48-49.

To hold the statute broad enough to include deliberate action from which a false entry by an innocent intermediary necessarily follows, gives to the words employed their fair meaning and is in accord with the evident intent of Congress. To hold that it applies only when the accused personally writes the false entry or affirmatively directs another to do so would emasculate the statute, defeat the very end in view.

84 F.2d 943 reversed; D.C. affirmed.

Certiorari, 299 U.S. 531, to review a judgment reversing a judgment of conviction for violation of R.S., § 5209.

Page 300 U. S. 42

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