What Is Counterfeiting
Federal Counterfeiting Statute 18 USC § 471
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Under the federal law, counterfeiting is punishable under the provision of 18 USC § 471. The act of counterfeiting may be broadly categorized, but under this provision, what is involved as counterfeit are obligations and securities. To be considered as counterfeit, an obligation or security must bear a resemblance to a genuine security or obligation that is being issued in the United States. The securities and obligations may involve currency, coins, postage or meter stamps, bonds and contracts. Such resemblance must cause an innocent suspecting person to believe that the same is genuine. In order to make an act unlawful as counterfeiting, the following elements must be proved:
- The person charged must have committed the act of falsely making, forging, altering or a counterfeit security or obligation
- The person acted with intent of defrauding another
The Secret Service has the primary jurisdiction of investigating any criminal offenses involving the act of counterfeiting of securities and obligations issued in the United States under 18 USC 471. It is the basic institution that is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the US financial infrastructures and is authorized to take such measures that are necessary to safeguard the financial system in the United States. It exercises primary jurisdiction in investigating counterfeit obligations and securities as opposed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s jurisdiction in investigating counterfeiting involving piracy and counterfeit goods. The Homeland Security may also get involved when the counterfeit obligations and securities may pose a threat to the national security and public safety.
The charges of counterfeiting under 18 USC § 471 are usually penalized with the following:
- Imprisonment of not more than 20 years
- Civil liabilities with the imposition of a fine
- Both imprisonment and the payment of a fine
Long-term prison sentence can sometimes be avoided in white collar crimes. The Wall Street Prison Consultants specializes in helping federal and state offenders to obtain sentence reductions through programs that can help provide alternative solutions to long term incarceration. Our consultation services employ investigative and research processes to assist inmates and their lawyers in finding the best solution and alternatives available to reduce prison terms of an inmate. Discuss possible solutions to your issues today.
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