Penalties of Counterfeiting

Fake products hoping to make a quick buck by imitating a larger brand can cause great harm to people, while reproduced money can destabilize an economy. Both of these are incredibly dangerous, therefore the penalties are harsh.

Determining guilt and the amount of punishment relies on several variables. Most incidents will be determined on a case-by-case basis, but these are the basic foundations for each case.

Counterfeit Products

Offenses under this category can either wrap up smoothly or lead to complex trials with charges entering other categories. Some will end in a lawsuit settlement or a definite jail sentence depending on whether it was simple production and sales or relied on child labor, used toxic components which harmed others or obviously relied on fraud.

No matter what, the business venture will end. Any merchandise left over will be confiscated along with any tools specifically used to replicate parts of a brand. A damage lawsuit may be placed by the brand being counterfeited which can be up to three times the profits or damages, whichever is greater. In some instances the case will start with a cease and desist. If your business has been accused of selling counterfeit merchandise that replicates a brand, do not ignore this. The better option is to always cease sales and then dispute your sales rights outside of the courtroom.

Counterfeit Money

Regardless of how it happens, the creation of passing of fake money is a federal crime. Even unknowingly using the money for purchases is liable to put an individual in court. Once in court, whether or not it was consciously done is determined by a judge based on evidence. If it’s deemed an individual knowingly passed fake money, they could face up to a $15,000 fine or 15 years in prison.

Production of false money carries the most severe charges. Offenders can face a fine of up to $250,000 and a maximum sentence of 20 years. Possession of plates, stones or other high-end production tools can up the sentence to 25 years. If their crime results in a financial gain or loss, they may also be fine double that amount.

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