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What Are the Penalties for Federal Counterfeiting Crimes?

 Posted on January 21,2021 in White Collar Crimes

Anderson County federal counterfeiting charges lawyerAny criminal offense can carry significant punishments if someone is convicted. However, federal crimes tend to be prosecuted more severely, often resulting in longer jail sentences. Common crimes charged at the federal level may include drug trafficking, fraud, counterfeiting, racketeering, and conspiracy. Although counterfeiting crimes have decreased by over 37 percent since 2015, they can still carry stiff consequences. Counterfeit goods or services come from a legitimate source, but they are actually unauthorized reproductions. If you or someone you know is facing federal criminal charges for counterfeiting, it is important to understand your rights while building a strong defense

Anti-Counterfeiting Laws

Federal lawmakers passed the first anti-counterfeiting laws in 1790 to protect unsuspecting consumers as well as the government. Since that time, Congress has introduced new legislation as counterfeiting tools and techniques have become more advanced and sophisticated. Although the crime of counterfeiting typically involves creating and producing fraudulent goods or documents, it may also mean using, possessing, or altering legitimate items

A few of the most common types of products that can come in counterfeit form include:

  • Money (bills, coins)

  • Trademarked or copyrighted materials

  • Clothing and accessories (purses, sunglasses, shoes) 

  • Financial documents from lending institutions 

  • Public records and affidavits (bonds, contracts, proposals) intended to defraud the United States

  • Documents related to imports and customs duties

  • Federal court documents or seals

  • Military passes or discharge papers

  • U.S. postage stamps and meters

Federal law also prohibits possessing tools or technology to make fake items. One of the most common counterfeit items is currency. It is important to note that it is also illegal to buy, sell, exchange, transfer, deliver, or receive counterfeit securities.

Federal Punishments for Counterfeiting

The criminal penalties for counterfeiting vary, but creating fraudulent U.S. securities carries fines as high as $250,000 and up to 25 years in a federal prison. When the crime results in financial gain or another party’s financial loss, the punishments can be enhanced, with fines up to double the amount gained or lost. Producing false securities carries a maximum 20-year jail sentence. Those convicted of forging postage stamps may be incarcerated for up to five years.

Contact a Knoxville, TN Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

Being charged with a crime can be intimidating and overwhelming, especially when a case involves federal charges. If you unknowingly purchased or used counterfeit items, a skilled Knox County federal criminal defense lawyer can help you build a strong defense strategy against these serious allegations. Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney is prepared to take on your case and make sure your rights were not violated. Call our office today at 865-281-1000 to learn more by scheduling a free consultation.


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