2009 FEDERAL SENTENCING GUIDELINES MANUAL
CHAPTER 2 - PART B - BASIC ECONOMIC OFFENSES
6. MOTOR VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS
§2B6.1. Altering or Removing Motor Vehicle Identification Numbers, or Trafficking in Motor Vehicles or Parts with Altered or Obliterated Identification Numbers
(a) Base Offense Level: 8
(b) Specific Offense Characteristics
(1) If the retail value of the motor vehicles or parts (A) exceeded $2,000 but did not exceed $5,000, increase by 1 level; or (B) exceeded $5,000, increase by the number of levels from the table in §2B1.1 (Theft, Property Destruction, and Fraud) corresponding to that amount.
(2) If the defendant was in the business of receiving and selling stolen property, increase by 2 levels.
(3) If the offense involved an organized scheme to steal vehicles or vehicle parts, or to receive stolen vehicles or vehicle parts, and the offense level as determined above is less than level 14, increase to level 14.
Statutory Provisions: 18 U.S.C. §§ 511, 553(a)(2), 2321.
1. Subsection (b)(3), referring to an "organized scheme to steal vehicles or vehicle parts, or to receive stolen vehicles or vehicle parts," provides an alternative minimum measure of loss in the case of an ongoing, sophisticated operation such as an auto theft ring or "chop shop." "Vehicles" refers to all forms of vehicles, including aircraft and watercraft. See Commentary to §2B1.1 (Theft, Property Destruction, and Fraud).
2. The term "increase by the number of levels from the table in §2B1.1 (Theft, Property Destruction, and Fraud) corresponding to that amount," as used in subsection (b)(1), refers to the number of levels corresponding to the retail value of the motor vehicles or parts involved.
Background: The statutes covered in this guideline prohibit altering or removing motor vehicle identification numbers, importing or exporting, or trafficking in motor vehicles or parts knowing that the identification numbers have been removed, altered, tampered with, or obliterated. Violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 511 and 553(a)(2) carry a maximum of five years imprisonment. Violations of 18 U.S.C. § 2321 carry a maximum of ten years imprisonment.
Historical Note: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendments 117-119); November 1, 1993 (see Appendix C, amendment 482); November 1, 2001 (see Appendix C, amendment 617).