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Posted by on in Federal Crimes
Illionois defense attorney, Illinois federal crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyerThe term ‘counterfeiting’ can be used to describe any number of fake articles. Counterfeit art or fake commercial items such as designer apparel can all be considered counterfeits. However, these goods are not covered by federal law. So what is the federal crime of counterfeiting? And what are the penalties one may face? Being charged with the federal crime of counterfeiting is very serious. Anyone that has been accused needs to speak to a Chicago federal criminal defense attorney that can give them the best chance of beating the charges.

Federal Counterfeiting Definition

According to the U.S. Code, Title 18, Chapter 25, the federal crime of counterfeiting involves producing, possessing, and using false documents that are used to cheat the government of the United States. These include:
  • Currency;
  • Securities, such as stock certificates;
  • Letters of patent;
  • Ship documents;
  • Postage stamps;
  • Military documents;
  • Legal documents including power of attorney documents, deeds, and certificates; and
  • Government documents, such as birth certificates.
While these are the crimes outlined in Chapter 25 of the U.S. Code, there are other federal counterfeiting crimes a person could be charged for as well.

Other Counterfeiting Crimes

Anyone involved in any type of counterfeiting can also be charged with a federal crime. These crimes include:
  • Possessing counterfeit items;
  • Using a counterfeit item and stating or acting as though it is legitimate;
  • Possessing tools used in the production of counterfeit items;
  • Removing or changing the VIN number on automotive vehicles;
  • Pasting portions of notes or bills together to create a counterfeit;
  • Manufacturing, selling, or possessing tokens or other currency substitutes; and
  • Trafficking in counterfeit goods and services.

Penalties for Counterfeiting

The penalties for different counterfeiting crimes vary. For the most common type of counterfeiting, creating false currency, the penalties include up to 25 years in federal prison and a potential fine of up to $250,000. If the accused benefits financially from the crime, or caused someone else to suffer financially, the penalties will be increased. In these instances, the penalties could include doubling the amount that was gained or lost, with the accused required to pay that amount in fines to the court. Issuing false securities also carries steep fines and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison. If someone is convicted of counterfeiting postage stamps, the penalties include potential fines and up to five years in federal prison.

Contact a Chicago Federal Crimes Lawyer for Help

Being charged with counterfeiting, or any other federal crime, is very serious. If convicted, a person may spend several years in federal prison, and they will have a permanent mark on their criminal record.

If you have been charged with counterfeiting, call a dedicated Chicago federal crimes lawyer. The Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney can provide you with the necessary defense to give you the best chances of a successful outcome in court. Do not wait, or try to beat these charges on your own. Call us today at 312-629-0669 for your free consultation.



Illionois defense attorney, Illinois federal crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyerCivil asset forfeiture is a mechanism federal law enforcement officials use to seize the property and possessions of people they come into contact with if they believe that the property is involved in criminal activity.

Authorities justify using this mechanism because they argue that a person is not entitled to profits from criminal activity. In reality, this process is used in a much broader manner. In fact, civil asset forfeiture can be utilized even when no one is charged or convicted of a federal crime.

How Common Is Civil Asset Forfeiture?


Posted by on in Fraud

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal justice system, Illinois criminal lawyer,Mortgage fraud encompasses several fact patterns or situations all of which are illegal under federal law. Mortgage fraud is characterized by some type of “material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission in relation to a mortgage loan that is then relied upon by a lending bank,” according to the FBI.

Thus, any lie that would influence a lender’s decision qualifies as mortgage fraud. The decision could relate to loan approval, reduced payoff amount or to repayment terms. Often mortgage fraud scams involve identity theft or income and asset falsification.

While the classic case of mortgage fraud is fraud perpetrated by the borrower, mortgage fraud cases have arisen in the aftermath of the housing market collapse when distressed homeowners were targeted by financial institutions. Even though the crime of mortgage fraud has evolved over time, there are several types that are seen regularly.


Posted by on in Appeals

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal justice system, Illinois criminal lawyer,If you have been convicted of a federal crime, you may wish to appeal your conviction and/or your sentence. Perhaps you believe that the law was not correctly applied or that your case was not appropriately presented. These are valid reasons for an appeal, but you will likely need a lawyer to take these complaints and present them as errors that must be corrected by a reviewing court.

The Clock Is Ticking

Perhaps the most fundamental part of an appeal is filing a notice of appeal before the deadline.


Posted by on in Fraud

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Cook County defense lawyerCar insurance is a necessity for all licensed drivers. This coverage can save a driver financially in the event of a car accident. Even though car insurance should be one of the biggest priorities of a driver, there have been far too many incidents where insurance fraud was committed. Insurance fraud is a very serious criminal offense that can lead to undesired consequences to the offender.

Types of Insurance Fraud

Car insurance fraud is defined as any form of deception against an insurance company to gain financially. Insurance fraud is illegal in Illinois, and there are at least five ways that insurance fraud can occur, such as vehicle dumping, false registration, exaggerated repair costs following a car accident, faulty airbag replacement, and faulty windshield replacement.

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