Counterfeiting is a serious crime under U.S. federal and state laws. Objects of counterfeiting include the counterfeiting of money, documents, consumer goods, and government bonds.
Counterfeiting essentially means the deliberate creation of a fake and imitated product for the commercial benefit of the offender. In the United States, the U.S. Secret Service, which is also responsible to protect the President of the United States and senior members of government, is the primary law enforcement agency against counterfeiting.
Because of its inherent components of fraud and deceit, counterfeiting is considered a special form of fraud and forgery.
In order to be found guilty or be convicted of counterfeiting, the government must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
For example, in order for jurors to find the defendant guilty of counterfeiting obligations or securities of the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 471, the government must prove two elements beyond a reasonable doubt, namely that:
- default_title▪ The defendant falsely made, forged, counterfeited, or altered any obligation or security of the United States;
▪ The defendant acted with the intent to defraud.
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Further, in order for jurors to find the defendant guilty of dealing in counterfeit obligations in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 473, the government must prove three elements beyond a reasonable doubt, including that:
- default_title▪ The defendant bought, sold, exchanged, transferred, received or delivered a counterfeit obligation of the United States and
▪ The defendant did so willfully and with the intent that the same be passed as true and genuine.
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Because of its enormous effects on society, Counterfeiting is considered a very severe crime. Depending on the scale, the level of organization, and the ill-will involved, individuals convicted of Counterfeiting may face decades in federal prisons, see 18 U.S.C. 25. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/part-I/chapter-25