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What are common counterfeit penalties?

| Mar 9, 2017 | Federal Crimes |

If you have been accused of a counterfeiting crime in Minnesota, you know that the penalties can range anywhere from minor to severe. Many things can be forged, including coins, military discharge papers, bonds and postage. The Cornell University Legal Information Institute outlines the penalties that accompany many different types of forgery.


One of the most severe penalties you could receive is given for forging foreign bank notes. This includes alterations of any kind or creation of any bills or bank notes intended to resemble foreign moneys. Those charged with this crime can be subject to a fine and sent to prison for up to 20 years.


Heavy penalties will also be given for creating, selling, possessing or using counterfeits of any bar or coin greater than five cents. This includes any silver or gold coin that is created to resemble any coins that are currently in circulation as United States money. If convicted of this act, you could face imprisonment of up to 15 years and a fine. Counterfeiting minor coins that are worth five cents or less can lead to a much smaller sentence of no more than three years of imprisonment.


If you were to create or use coins or paper for the purpose of obtaining products or services from vending machines, parking meters, fare boxes or other mechanical systems, it can result in a fine and imprisonment for up to one year. In this case, the creation does not need to resemble current U.S. money, but is illegal is it is being used in place of money. This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.