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When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

Federal Counterfeiting Criminal Lawyers

When most people think of counterfeiting, they usually think about money being copied in some way and passed off as the real thing. While this is a form of counterfeiting, there are other items that can be faked as well, such as jewelry or antique objects. When someone is charged with counterfeiting, it’s usually considered a federal crime because it often involves a significant amount of money. Keep in mind that the federal government often thinks of counterfeiting in different ways than the general public might think of the crime.

Even though someone can counterfeit clothing, shoes, art and other items, the federal government usually refers to the crime as anything that has to do with money, documents or other items that are involved with the federal law and production. The federal government often sees counterfeiting as anything that has to do with defrauding the United States in some manner. Laws that are created typically cover money, stamps used for postage, patent letters, papers related to ships, and any type of legal document. These documents can include deeds, a power of attorney statement, receipts, contracts or documents that have been issued by the government.

There are a few other types of counterfeiting crimes that should be examined because you can be charged for these issues as well. If you are in possession of a counterfeit item, then you can be charged. At times, you might not know that you are in possession of a counterfeit. If you can provide proof, then you might be able to defeat the charges, especially with the assistance of an attorney. Passing a counterfeit as a true document is another common charge. An example would be passing any kind of monetary bill as a true bill when it’s a fake. Sometimes, counterfeit money can get circulated in the general public. This would mean that you might not know that you’re in possession of a fake piece of money. If you do know that you hold a counterfeit bill, you need to turn it into the proper authorities so that it can be dealt with.

Another way to be charged with counterfeiting is if you are in possession of the tools needed to complete the process. These tools could include printers, ink and original documents or materials that you plan to counterfeit. Counterfeiting includes removing numbers from vehicles so that you can add new ones. This is a type of counterfeiting charge that some mechanics or car dealers see. They will remove the numbers and apply for a new VIN number if they don’t want a buyer to know the past history, such as accidents of flood reports. If you need help with federal appeals, our federal appeals lawyers can assist with this as well.

An example of counterfeiting that you don’t hear about as often involves pasting pieces of money or documents on top of each other to make one that is fake. Some people will do this when they want to make counterfeit money. Charges could be separate or together depending on the amount of money involved, the materials that are involved and whether the person legitimately knew about the counterfeit materials.

The penalty for counterfeiting varies in each state. Most of the time, people who counterfeit money can expect to receive up to 25 years in a federal prison and fines of up to $200,000. If there is any kind of financial gain, then the length of the prison sentence can be increased as well as the fines that you have to pay. If the counterfeited materials are only documents or minor documents, such as postage stamps, then the prison sentence will usually be decreased significantly as well as the fines involved.

If you have been charged with counterfeiting, then you need to consider hiring an attorney who can help prepare your defense. Your attorney can examine the evidence that you produce as to whether you knew that the items were counterfeit or not. This evidence could mean staying out of jail or being sentenced to a lengthy prison term. Since counterfeiting is typically seen as a federal offense, it’s sometimes hard to fight the charges without an attorney. A common defense that is used is that you didn’t know the items were fake when you took them into your possession. If you can provide names of people who gave you the items, then the attorney can sometimes use the information to help in your defense.

Counterfeiting: What You Need to Know

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Counterfeiting is the intentional act of forging something in order to pass it off as genuine, which is a serious federal offense that can result in up to 15 years of jail time and hefty fines. Although counterfeiting is often associated with money, such as bills, checks, and coins, it can also be used for making fake designer items, legal documents, IDs, and licenses. The key element in a counterfeiting case is acting willfully and with the intent to defraud, which prosecutors must prove. However, Spodek Law Group and Attorney Todd Spodek will work hard to prove otherwise and to mitigate potential criminal penalties.

Counterfeited Items

Counterfeiting can involve a range of items, including money, checks, art, jewelry, watches, handbags, designer clothing, legal documents, IDs, and licenses.

Federal Counterfeiting Offenses

Under federal law, counterfeiting includes the creation, distribution, and use of counterfeit currency or securities, specific types of documents, and various types of goods. Federal statutes specifically prohibit the creation, selling, or use of counterfeit U.S. or foreign currency or securities, as well as the possession or sale of imprints or images to be used to create counterfeit currency or securities.

Federal statutes also prohibit the creation, forging, or distribution of different types of counterfeit documents, including federal court documents, documents dealing with federal government contracts, documents issued by specific lending institutions, and documents related to imports and custom duties. In addition, public records counterfeited to defraud the U.S. government, counterfeited bonds, counterfeited seals of federal agencies, and counterfeited USPS stamps are explicitly prohibited by federal law.

Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods

Trafficking in counterfeit goods is also a federal crime, often involving a trademark infringement offense. The counterfeited goods can include passports and other IDs, credit cards, works of art, jewelry, watches, clothing, and electronics.

Defending Against Counterfeiting Charges

To convict someone of any type of counterfeiting, federal prosecutors have to prove intent to defraud others. Therefore, they must prove that you intended to pass off a copy or replica of an item as being the original or as being genuine. Challenging the prosecution’s claim of intent could then be a feasible defense strategy. Spodek Law Group and Attorney Todd Spodek understand the nuances of federal counterfeiting statutes and cases, and know how the federal court system works. They will fight aggressively to protect your rights and your freedom.

Common Forgery and Counterfeiting Charges

Common forgery and counterfeiting charges include possession of the counterfeit currency or payment instrument, manufacture of counterfeit currency, using counterfeit currency or selling it to others, possessing tools for making counterfeit currency, conspiring with other people to make, possess, use or sell counterfeit currency, passing forged checks or other monetary instruments, such as cashier’s checks or money orders.

Modern image-making technology has become more and more sophisticated, allowing people to create more convincing, passable counterfeit money. Counterfeiters are also creative and resourceful, which is why a recent trend consisted of passing apparent $100 bills which were actually $5 bills with only the numbers at the corners and the president’s face altered. These hybrid bills are very convincing to the point that many people have passed them unknowingly and unintentionally.

Counterfeiting Defense Attorneys

If you have been charged with counterfeiting, the prosecution will need to prove that you committed the action named in the charges knowingly. Whatever your specific charges and whatever series of events led to

Don’t Get Duped – Consult an Experienced Federal Counterfeiting Lawyer

As a New Yorker, you know that the city runs on an economy of trust. We hand cabbies cash out the window and exchange bills for coffee without a second glance. But what happens when counterfeit cash enters circulation? It undermines the belief that a twenty is worth twenty bucks. That’s why the United States Secret Service vigilantly prosecutes counterfeiters. If you’ve been accused of federal counterfeiting crimes, you need an attorney who understands how high the stakes are.

The Feds Don’t Mess Around with Fake Cash

While every state prohibits counterfeiting, it’s a whole different ballgame when the feds get involved. See, the United States Secret Service (USSS) takes pride in their mission to safeguard the integrity of U.S. currency. As the original “lawmen,” descended from the gentlemen who guarded President Lincoln, the USSS pairwise no joking matter.

So if you find yourself in the fed’s crosshairs, you’ll need an attorney who knows their playbook. At the Spodek Law Group, our federal criminal defense attorneys have the experience to protect your rights and future. With NYC counterfeiting cases tried in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, we know which arguments give defendants the best chance at a favorable outcome.

Federal Counterfeiting Crimes Come with Harsh Penalties

You may be wondering, what’s the big deal with some fake twenties floating around? Well, according to the U.S. Treasury $20 bills account for 80% of all American currency in circulation. That’s why federal counterfeiting laws aim to shut down the problem before it spreads. Penalties are severe.

The three most common federal counterfeiting offenses include:

1. Possessing Counterfeit Currency

Even if you didn’t actually make or distribute the fake bills, just having them in your wallet or car is a felony under 18 U.S. Code § 472. The penalty can be up to 15 years in federal prison and/or a fine.

2. Producing Counterfeit Currency

Under 18 U.S. Code § 471, making fake cash is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine. Even just possessing the materials to make counterfeit bills with intent is enough to be charged as a felony. Offenses can stack if you are caught producing multiple bills with different denominations.

3. Selling or Distributing Counterfeit Currency

Passing off bogus bucks under 18 U.S. Code § 473 can lead to up to 20 years in prison and a fine per offense. The Secret Service takes an aggressive approach to prosecuting distribution rings.

Unlike state counterfeiting charges which may resolve with probation, you can expect years of incarceration on federal convictions.

How Do People Get Caught Counterfeiting?

In 2019, over $146 million in funny money was taken out of circulation by the USSS. Big operations are busted when informants share tips or undercover agents infiltrate distribution networks. Yet everyday folks also get nabbed passing off average amounts of bogus bills.

Here are common ways the feds catch counterfeiters:

Tips from Banks – When a bank teller spots a suspicious bill, they will notify the Secret Service and provide video surveillance. Investigations quickly unfold from there.

Store Employees – Retail cashiers trained to spot fakes will turn the bills over to the police or Secret Service. Expect an unfriendly visit after passing it.

Craigslist or Online Sales – Agents scour auction sites looking for people selling illegal goods like fake IDs and currency. Exchanges are often under surveillance.

Traffic Stops – Officers who come across counterfeit cash upon searching a vehicle will seize it as evidence and open a case.

USPS Inspections – Shipping fake bills through the mail is a federal offense. USPIS inspectors monitor suspicious packages.

Airport Security – TSA may discover and confiscate bogus currency as you pass through checkpoints. Cue the flashing lights.

As you can see, the feds have eyes and ears everywhere. That’s why you need an eagle-eyed lawyer on your side.

Experienced Counterfeiting Defense Lawyers Ready to Fight for You

At Spodek Law Group, our federal criminal defense team zealously defends clients in the Southern District Court of New York. If you are being investigated or charged federally, we can help. Our track record of favorable case results speaks for itself.

Here’s how we fight federal counterfeiting accusations:

Challenge Evidence Collection – We scrutinize if your rights were violated during searches, seizures or interrogations. Any missteps can weaken the prosecution’s case.

Put the Government to the Burden of Proof – Their evidence must establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt. We exploit any flaws and holes.

Affirmative Defenses – In some cases, we can argue you lacked criminal intent or were entrapped by the Secret Service.

Negotiate Plea Deals – We work to get charges dropped or reduced to avoid lengthy prison time.

Trial Litigation – When needed, we dig into our bag of crafty tactics to win courtroom battles.

“Todd is a phenomenal lawyer. He helped me obtain one of the best possible outcomes and provided caring support each step of the way.” – John D.

Facing federal counterfeiting accusations? The sooner you call our office at 212-300-5196 for a free consultation, the faster we can start defending your future. The feds are ruthless – but rest assured, we know how to beat them at their own game. Let our ex-prosecutor attorneys stand between you and prison. Your freedom and reputation are too valuable to leave to chance.

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