Counterfeit cases are usually federally prosecuted, and they can involve schemes other than using counterfeit money. Counterfeit “money, bills, and currency” are the most commonly used terms, but many other forms of counterfeit have risen in the economy in the past. This trend is known as counterfeit goods and services. If you or your company has been charged with counterfeit, you have violated Title 18, U.S. Code, §2320. This is also known as the Trademark Counterfeiting Act of 1984.
What Are Counterfeit Goods?
Counterfeit goods are those made or sold using another brand’s name without the brand owner’s authorization. These goods are often of inferior quality and attack the name and value of a known business. At best, these goods and services don’t perform as well as authentic products. However, at worst, these goods can fail catastrophically. Law enforcement has seen a rise in numbers of counterfeited goods, and they are more alert than ever before.
The world’s most counterfeited goods are footwear. In fact, 22% of all counterfeited goods are footwear. Although this doesn’t seem harmful, it greatly impacts the shoe market. The most common brand victims are Nike, Adidas, UGG, and Louboutin. Electronics are another notorious example. The electrical equipment counterfeit industry is so good at what they do that they even have some of their employees believing that they are employed by the real brand. Other goods include medical equipment, automotive parts, pharmaceuticals, and the list goes on. $500 billion is lost to counterfeiting each year.
Statute of Offenses
If you have committed any of these offenses intentionally, you will be facing counterfeit charges:
- Traffic good or services while knowingly using a counterfeit mark
- Traffics in wrappers, badges, boxes, containers, cases, cans, or any other form of packaging, knowing that a counterfeit mark has been applied. The use of this mark is to deceive, confuse, or mistake those goods with that brand
- Knowingly traffics counterfeit military goods or services. The use or malfunction is likely to cause serious bodily harm or even death
- Traffic counterfeit drugs
Penalties for Offenses
Depending on the extremity of the white collar crime, the penalties can vary. Fines can range anywhere from $2,000,000 to $30,000,000, and imprisonment from 10 years to a life sentence. This all depends on the consequences and harm of the committed crime.
Contact Attorney John R. Teakell
If you have been convicted of selling counterfeit goods, or are currently under investigation, contact former federal prosecutor John Teakell. Mr. Teakell has a focused criminal law background with over 20 years of courtroom experience. He has handled thousands of white collar crime cases and has expertise in both federal and state court systems. There is not a single case that is too complex for Mr. Teakell to handle. To top it off, he is very compassionate towards all of his clients. He listens to your side of the story and takes the time to explain all the facts, phases, and processes through this tough time.