Counterfeiting is often shown on television and movies as a massive enterprise designed to create millions of dollars in fake United States currency. However, counterfeiting laws in the United States cover much more than creating fake $100 bills. Even actions such as creating a fake postage stamp or using a metal slug in place of a coin in a vending machine are treated as counterfeiting and forgery under the United States Code. One thing that all actions considered counterfeiting have in common is that they can carry severe penalties. When you are being criminally investigated, don’t delay. Call the trusted Ohio federal counterfeiting lawyers from LHA today before evidence is built against you.
Counterfeiting United States Currency
The United States Code establishes that it is illegal to falsely make, forge, counterfeit, or alter any obligation or other security of the United States. The term “obligation or other security of the United States” includes currency, Federal Reserve notes, Treasury notes, and bonds. The law includes the requirement that the action must be done with the intent to defraud. The use and dealing of counterfeited currency are also illegal, and have the same legal requirement that the actions must be done with intent to defraud. The creation, use, and dealing of counterfeit currency and other obligations all carry the harsh penalty of a fine of up to $250,000 and up to 20 years in prison.
The law also severely punishes the possession of tools and equipment that are intended to be used for counterfeiting. Possession of a plate or image that could be used to counterfeit is considered a Class B felony, punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and a prison term of up to 25 years. Even making an impression or image of a tool used in the printing of obligations or other securities is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and up to 25 years in prison.
If counterfeiting is committed outside of the United States the crimes carry the same penalties as if they were committed in the United States.
Counterfeiting Foreign Bank Notes
The United States Code provides for the same harsh punishments for the counterfeiting of foreign money as it does for United State currency. The counterfeiting of a bank note issued by a bank or corporation of a foreign country that is intended by law in that country to circulate as money could lead to a fine of up to $250,000 and up to 20 years in prison. The possession of a plate or image that could be used to counterfeit foreign obligations or securities is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and a prison term of up to 25 years.
Other Counterfeiting Offenses
The laws in the United States Code regarding counterfeiting cover an extremely wide array of actions. Other notable counterfeiting crimes include:
- Coins and Bars– The counterfeiting of any coin with a denomination higher than 5 cents or a gold or silver bar stamped from a mint of the United States is punishable by a fine and a prison term of not more than 15 years.
- Postage Stamps– Counterfeiting a postage stamp or a postage meter stamp is punishable by a fine and a prison term of not more than 5 years.
- Customs Forms– Counterfeiting or the knowing use of forged customs forms for the entry of imports or collection of customs duties carries a possible fine and up to 3 years in prison.
- Contracts, Deeds, or Powers of Attorney– The counterfeiting of deeds, powers of attorney, receipts, contracts, or other documents for the purpose of obtaining money from the United States is punishable by a fine and up to 10 years in prison.
- Tokens– The use of a token, slug, or other item similar in size and shape to a United States coin in items like vending machines or parking meters can lead to a fine and up to 1 year in prison.
Let a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Help
There are a wide range of actions that could lead to you facing federal counterfeiting charges. The good news is that you have an opportunity to defend yourself. For example, many counterfeiting crimes require an intent to defraud, and if that does not exist you may not be found guilty. You will need an experienced attorney who is able to take advantage of that opportunity and provide you with a strong defense. The Ohio federal criminal defense lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates have years of experience handling federal cases and reaching the best possible outcomes for our clients.
Trust Ohio Federal Counterfeiting Lawyers from LHA Today! Contact Us.
If you have been charged with a federal crime, you’re probably wondering what your options are. The Ohio federal criminal defense lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates have years of experience handling these types of cases and winning optimal outcomes for our clients. Call Ohio federal counterfeiting lawyers from LHA today for a free consultation. To contact him or another Ohio criminal defense lawyer, call us at (614) 500-3836 or email us via email@example.com.