Counterfeiting U.S. paper money and coins is a federal crime that’s punishable by prison sentences that can extend to decades. Counterfeited goods and services are also federal crimes subject to the provisions and penalties set forth in the Trademark and Counterfeiting Act of 1984. Convictions for counterfeited goods and securities carry hefty fines, ranging from $250,000 to $2 million, in addition to five to 10-year prison sentences.
Counterfeiting crimes are investigated by the Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force Teams of the Department of Homeland Security or its Secret Service Agency. The Secret Service, charged with protecting our President, Vice President, and heads of state, was originally created in 1865 specifically to protect our country’s currency. Counterfeiting was rampant after the Civil War, and the first federal law enforcement agency was established to suppress fake money.
In 2003, the Secret Service was transferred from the Department of the Treasury to the newly created Department of Homeland Security. Its success in that department, along with the Fraud Task Force Teams, is shown by Homeland Security’s seizure at our borders of counterfeit goods valued at over $1.7 billion. Globally the trafficking of counterfeit goods is growing, and so is the Department’s oversight and investigations.
Accused Of Counterfeiting?
If you’re the subject of a counterfeiting investigation by the Department of Homeland Security. you’re dealing with a serious federal matter. If you’re being investigated for counterfeited currency or goods and trademarks, Paul Morgan can fight for you. Contact Paul Morgan at Paul Morgan Law Office, PLLC, by phone at 713-969-5007.
How Is Counterfeiting Defined?
Counterfeiting is the unauthorized replica of the real product. Making U.S. currency involves specially trained and highly skilled craftspeople, a blend of old-world methods, cutting-edge digital technology and special stock. The elements are blended in a way to ensure that our money is difficult to copy. The manufacturing process takes place under the supervision of the Bureau of Engraving & Printing, a division of the Treasury Department.
Forging U.S. currency is an intentional act involving a very high degree of skill. The prison sentence for such an offense, if found guilty, could be over 20 years.
Counterfeiting or repackaging genuine goods or services with the intent to deceive may be prosecuted by the state of Texas, under Title 7, § 32.21-24 of the Penal Code, or by the federal government under the Trademark and Counterfeiting Act of 1984. These knowing acts of deception to defraud the buyer are penalized by prison time and stiff fines. Stiff fines are intended to provide restitution to the injured owner.
Manufacturing counterfeit currencies may result in a 20-year federal prison sentence for persons convicted of the offense. Forging securities is also punishable by 20 years; as is altering a genuine instrument, §473. If you’re found in possession of plates, stones or digital equipment to create or print the counterfeit bills, you’ve committed a Class B felony and are subject to 25 years in jail if convicted.
Convictions under the Trademark and Counterfeiting Act of 1984 carry less prison time but walloping fines. The trafficker’s fine is assessed based on the market cost of the genuine goods or services, at a rate the owner would have received if the article had been sold at retail prices through authorized channels. The bad news is that the amount the trafficker owes, if convicted, might end up being many times higher than what the trafficker actually received.
Smaller and lesser offenses might be punished with a fine up to $250,000 for an individual and a five-year prison sentence. But if a pattern and practice of intentional and calculated reproduction of genuine articles for the purpose of misleading the recipient or buyer is proved, the trafficker could face a 10-year sentence and up to $2 million in fines. If you or someone close to you was accused of such an offense, Contact Paul Morgan.
Arrested For Counterfeiting In Houston? Contact Attorney Paul Morgan Today!
If you believe you’re being investigated for counterfeiting money, goods or services, you’ll need help on your side. Attorney Paul Morgan is an experienced federal criminal defense attorney and is ready to help you evaluate your options.
Consultations for criminal charges related to counterfeiting money or other goods are 100% confidential, and your initial meeting with Paul is free. Schedule your case evaluation today by emailing the firm or by dialing 713-969-5007.