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Counterfeiting as a Federal Crime and a State Crime

January 25th, 2016 at 10:58 am

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois white crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal lawyer, Counterfeiting is a serious crime that involves the illegal and unauthorized reproduction of legal tender (i.e., money), goods or documents that is made in a way that would likely fool an unsuspecting recipient of the counterfeited item. It is a form of fraud with very serious consequences. Common examples of counterfeiting include:

  • Counterfeit U.S. or foreign currency;
  • Counterfeit government issued bonds;
  • Counterfeit educational degrees;
  • Counterfeit legal documents (i.e., passports, birth certificates, immigration papers, Social Security cards, etc.);
  • Counterfeit common goods, which includes knock off products;
  • Counterfeit of a trademark;
  • Counterfeit credit cards or debit cards;
  • Counterfeit luxury goods, such as name brand watches, sunglasses or purses; and
  • Counterfeit checks.

Advances in printing technology have made it substantially easier to commit this white collar crime than in decades past. This means that more people have the ability to create counterfeit items with a high level of accuracy in terms of resembling the real thing. Counterfeiting is usually a fairly large operation, as it requires someone to make the counterfeit item, but operations also often include someone to sell the counterfeit item. Simply being caught with a counterfeit item with the intent to distribute or sell the item is illegal.

Counterfeiting Laws

Counterfeiting is a crime at both the state and federal level.

  • In Illinois, the counterfeiting laws include:
    • Counterfeiting Credit or Debit Cards. Counterfeiting is specifically defined under 720 ILCS 5/17-0.5 as the manufacture, creation or production of a credit or debit card without authorization or consent from the purported issuer of the card.
    • Counterfeiting Goods or Trademarks. 765 ILCS 1040/1 addresses what constitutes a counterfeit item, or trademark and 765 ILCS 1040/2 details the crime of using or circulating counterfeit or imitation goods.
  • At the federal level, federal counterfeit law includes:
    • 18 U.S.C. Section 471. Under this law, it is illegal to defraud, forge, counterfeit, falsely make, or alter any form of money, security or obligation of the United States.

Counterfeiting Money Is the Most Popular Form of Counterfeiting

Counterfeiting money is the most popular form of counterfeiting in the United States, with the $20 bill being the most commonly counterfeit dollar bill. If too much fake money enters into circulation, U.S. currency will lose value. The federal government has spent a lot of time and money trying to design complicated currency with a number of counterfeit prevention and detection features. The government takes counterfeiting of money very seriously and prosecutes it aggressively.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

There are significant consequences to be faced if you are convicted on counterfeiting charges. If you have been notified by the authorities that you are being investigated for counterfeit operations, an experienced white collar crime lawyer can help you with your criminal defense. Contact a passionate Rolling Meadows white collar crime defense attorney to discuss the specifics of your case with a professional today. We are prepared to help you with your case.

 

Sources:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt.+24&ActID=1876&ChapAct=720%26nbsp%3BILCS%26nbsp%3B5%2F&ChapterID=53&ChapterName=CRIMINAL+OFFENSES&SectionID=60752&SeqStart=50300000&SeqEnd=53000000&ActName=Criminal+Code+of+1961.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2233&ChapterID=62

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/471

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Written by Staff Writer

January 25th, 2016 at 10:58 am

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