Most people earn their money the old-fashioned way—with hard work. Others, however, take extreme measures to make the money that they have worth more. This is done using sophisticated counterfeiting techniques. This practice is illegal and can cause a person to be charged with a white collar crime.
Several people in Michigan have been using phony bills to make purchases. Two men and a woman have been caught on surveillance video passing off $10 bills as $100 bills. Police are looking for information leading to the arrests of three suspects so they can press charges and get the counterfeit money off the streets.
The counterfeit money has been found in various cities, including Bridgman, St. Joseph, Niles and South Bend. They are passed off as $100 bills, but once you look closely, you can see they are actually $10 bills. The security strip says 10 instead of 100 and the fake bills are showing watermarks of Alexander Hamilton instead of Benjamin Franklin.
The Elkhart Police Department and St. Joseph Department of Public Safety are trying to identify the three suspects. Those with any information are asked to contact these departments.
Section 750.253 of the Michigan Penal Code makes it illegal to pass off money as counterfeit. Under this law, a person is not legally allowed to “utter counterfeit notes as true.” This means purposely using fake money to pay promissory notes or debts with an intent to defraud the recipient.
Counterfeiting is a paper crime that may include checks, titles, deeds and money orders. Some people even create counterfeit IDs and credit cards to use in identity theft crimes. Other items that can be counterfeited include coins, signatures, certificates, union labels, engraving, patterns, templates and certificates. Being in possession of tools used to create counterfeit materials is also a crime. This is a felony that may be punished by 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Counterfeiting money is punished harshly in Michigan. It is punished as a felony, and those convicted of this crime could face a fine of up to $2,500 and five years in prison. Some types of counterfeit crimes come with even stiffer penalties. For example, possession of counterfeit notes can result in seven years in prison, while publishing a counterfeit transaction device is a 14-year felony.
People are motivated by money, and by participating in counterfeiting and other white collar crimes, they can further their goal of financial gain. While white collar crimes are typically not violent in nature like murder or assault, they do hurt people emotionally and financially. Therefore, they are punished harshly. A felony conviction can negatively affect one’s life for many years.
If you have been arrested for counterfeiting, seek legal help right away to avoid felony charges. The aggressive criminal defense attorneys from Nickola Law can help provide you with a solid defense. For more information, contact Nickola Law at (810) 767-5420 or visit our website to schedule a consultation.
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