[USC02] 20 USC 1097: Criminal penalties
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TEXT OF PART V OF SUBTITLE A (3001 ET SEQ.), EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2022, CURRENTLY SET OUT AS A PREVIEW

20 USC 1097: Criminal penalties Text contains those laws in effect on September 23, 2021
From Title 20-EDUCATIONCHAPTER 28-HIGHER EDUCATION RESOURCES AND STUDENT ASSISTANCESUBCHAPTER IV-STUDENT ASSISTANCEPart G-General Provisions Relating to Student Assistance Programs

§1097. Criminal penalties

(a) In general

Any person who knowingly and willfully embezzles, misapplies, steals, obtains by fraud, false statement, or forgery, or fails to refund any funds, assets, or property provided or insured under this subchapter or attempts to so embezzle, misapply, steal, obtain by fraud, false statement or forgery, or fail to refund any funds, assets, or property, shall be fined not more than $20,000 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both, except if the amount so embezzled, misapplied, stolen, obtained by fraud, false statement, or forgery, or failed to be refunded does not exceed $200, then the fine shall not be more than $5,000 and imprisonment shall not exceed one year, or both.

(b) Assignment of loans

Any person who knowingly and willfully makes any false statement, furnishes any false information, or conceals any material information in connection with the assignment of a loan which is made or insured under this subchapter or attempts to so make any false statement, furnish any false information, or conceal any material information in connection with such assignment shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(c) Inducements to lend or assign

Any person who knowingly and willfully makes an unlawful payment to an eligible lender under part B or attempts to make such unlawful payment as an inducement to make, or to acquire by assignment, a loan insured under such part shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(d) Obstruction of justice

Any person who knowingly and willfully destroys or conceals any record relating to the provision of assistance under this subchapter or attempts to so destroy or conceal with intent to defraud the United States or to prevent the United States from enforcing any right obtained by subrogation under this part, shall upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $20,000 or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(Pub. L. 89–329, title IV, §490, as added Pub. L. 99–498, title IV, §407(a), Oct. 17, 1986, 100 Stat. 1491 ; amended Pub. L. 102–325, title IV, §495, July 23, 1992, 106 Stat. 631 ; Pub. L. 116–251, §2(a), Dec. 22, 2020, 134 Stat. 1129 .)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 116–251, §§2(a), (c), 6, Dec. 22, 2020, 134 Stat. 1129 , 1132, provided that, effective 180 days after Dec. 22, 2020, with additional provision relating to effective date of penalties, this section is amended by adding at the end the following:

(e) Access to Department of Education information technology systems for fraud, commercial advantage, or private financial gain

Any person who knowingly uses an access device, as defined in section 1029(e)(1) of title 18, issued to another person or obtained by fraud or false statement to access Department information technology systems for purposes of obtaining commercial advantage or private financial gain, or in furtherance of any criminal or tortious act in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States or of any State, shall be fined not more than $20,000, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.

See 2020 Amendment and Effective Date of Penalties notes below.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 1097, Pub. L. 89–329, title IV, §490, as added Pub. L. 96–374, title IV, §451(a), Oct. 3, 1980, 94 Stat. 1453 , related to criminal penalties, prior to the general revision of this part by Pub. L. 99–498.

Amendments

2020-Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 116–251 added subsec. (e).

1992-Pub. L. 102–325 amended section generally, inserting provisions relating to attempted offenses, wherever appearing, and in subsec. (a) inserting provisions relating to failure to refund and substituting provisions relating to $20,000 and $5,000 fines for provisions relating to $10,000 and $1,000 fines, respectively, in subsec. (b) substituting provisions relating to $10,000 fines for provisions relating to $1,000 fines, in subsec. (c) substituting provisions relating to $10,000 fines for provisions relating $1,000 fines, and in subsec. (d) substituting provisions relating to $20,000 fines for provisions relating to $10,000 fines.

Effective Date of 2020 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 116–251 effective 180 days after Dec. 22, 2020, see section 6 of Pub. L. 116–251, set out as a note under section 1018 of this title.

Guidance

Pub. L. 116–251, §2(b), Dec. 22, 2020, 134 Stat. 1129 , provided that: "The Secretary shall issue guidance regarding the use of access devices in a manner that complies with this Act [see Short Title of 2020 Amendment note set out under section 1001 of this title], and the amendments made by this Act."

Effective Date of Penalties

Pub. L. 116–251, §2(c), Dec. 22, 2020, 134 Stat. 1129 , provided that: "Notwithstanding section 6 [set out as an Effective Date of 2020 Amendment note under section 1018 of this title], the penalties described in section 490(e) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1097[(e)]), as added by subsection (a), shall take effect the day after the date on which the Secretary issues guidance regarding the use of access devices, as described in subsection (b) [set out as a Guidance note above]."