18 U.S.C. 1952 is a criminal statute referred to colloquially as the “Travel Act.” It criminalizes “travel[ing] in interstate or foreign commerce”, using the mail, or using “any facility in interstate or foreign commerce” with the intent to engage in certain specified kinds of unlawful activity, and then engaging or attempting to engage in the unlawful activity.
Some categories of unlawful activity subject to prosecution under the Travel Act include illegal gambling, illicit liquor sales, distribution of controlled substances, prostitution, extortion, bribery, arson, and crimes of violence which further such unlawful activity. Importantly, the Travel Act’s definition of “unlawful activity” includes conduct proscribed by state law, even if it is not illegal under federal law.
The maximum penalty for violating the Travel Act is either five or twenty years depending on whether the conduct included a crime of violence.
Oftentimes, the Travel Act is often included in indictments alongside more common federal crimes such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Health Care Fraud, or the Hobbs Act.