Federal Counterfeiting

We have a proven track record of success in handling over 15,000 criminal cases and are consistently awarded as one of Ohio’s top criminal defense firms. We are highly experienced federal counterfeiting lawyers in Columbus, OH and all of central Ohio. Experience matters when dealing with these cases, which prosecutors and judges handle differently on a case-by-case basis. We know what to expect and what to do to get the best result possible.

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Federal Counterfeiting Lawyer

Helping Individuals who have been Arrested or Charged with Federal Counterfeiting 

Counterfeiting involves a variety of federal charges and offenses, all of which involve some sort of fraud or deceit. A federal conviction for counterfeiting could result in serious penalties that include high fines and extensive prison time, pursuant to the United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Consequently, if you are being investigated for counterfeiting or forgery, you should seek out experienced legal representation as early on in your criminal case as possible. 

When it comes to defending against federal criminal charges, you need an attorney who regularly litigates criminal matters in the federal court system and who will do a thorough job investigating your case and exploring all of your legal options. The experienced federal defense lawyers at the Joslyn Law Firm can discuss your charge with you, along with the potential penalties that a federal judge could impose upon conviction. We can then help you decide on the best legal option to secure the best outcome in your criminal matter. 

Give us a call today at (614) 444-1900, or contact us online, to discover how we might be able to help you throughout your entire federal criminal matter.

United States Currency

The 18 U.S.C. 489 makes it a federal offense to falsely force, make, alter, or counterfeit any security or obligation belonging to the United States of America. The obligations and other securities referred to in the federal statute include United States currency, treasury notes, Federal Reserve notes, and bonds.

In order for a federal prosecutor to sustain a conviction against you for counterfeiting United States currency, the prosecutor must show that you possessed the specific intent to defraud someone. In addition to possessing counterfeit currency belonging to the United States, it is also a federal crime to deal in or use counterfeit currency. Again, for a federal prosecutor to secure a conviction for this offense, he or she must demonstrate that you harbored the specific intent to defraud. 

If you are ultimately found guilty and convicted of using, creating, or dealing in counterfeit currency, you will likely face serious penalties by a sentencing judge. Specifically, a federal judge could sentence you to a maximum monetary fine of $250,000, along with a maximum 20-year prison sentence. These charges and penalties are equally applicable if the accused commits the counterfeiting offense while he or she is outside the country, as opposed to inside the country.

Possessing Equipment and Tools Used for Counterfeiting

In the United States, it is also a federal offense to possess equipment and tools, such as an image or plate, with the intention of using those items for counterfeiting. Possessing these items or equipment could subject the accused to a Class B felony conviction. A sentencing judge could impose a maximum monetary fine of $250,000, along with a maximum prison sentence of 25 years.

Counterfeiting Foreign Currency

Counterfeiting foreign currency is a criminal offense, just like counterfeiting United States currency, and a federal conviction for counterfeiting foreign currency will result in the same potential penalties. Counterfeiting a foreign bank note, for example, could result in a maximum monetary fine of $250,000, along with a maximum of 20 years in jail. Possessing equipment and tools intended to be used in counterfeiting foreign currency is subject to a maximum fine of $250,000, along with a maximum 25-year prison sentence.

Counterfeiting Crimes that Involve Coins, Stamps, Forms, Deeds, Contracts, and Tokens

Counterfeiting offenses in the United States can involve a whole host of actions. If you have been charged with counterfeiting that involves any of the following – or if you are the subject of a federal investigation for any of these offenses – you should seek help from a federal counterfeiting lawyer as soon as possible:

  • Counterfeiting a stamp – A counterfeiting crime that involves a postage meter stamp or a regular postage stamp (such as by trying to fraudulently replicate a postage stamp) could result in a fine and a maximum jail term of five years upon conviction.
  • Counterfeiting coins – Counterfeiting a United States coin that is worth more than five cents (or a silver or gold bar issued by the United States mint) could result in a fine, along with a maximum prison sentence of 15 years upon conviction.
  • S. customs forms – Knowingly using a forged customs form could result in a monetary fine, along with a maximum three-year jail sentence upon conviction.
  • Counterfeit tokens – Knowingly using a slug, token, or another item that is similar to the shape and size of actual money to “pay” for a parking meter or vending machine merchandise could result in a monetary fine being imposed, along with a possible one-year jail sentence upon conviction.
  • Counterfeit documents – Counterfeit documents could include powers of attorney, deeds, contracts, and receipts that are used by the accused to try and obtain United States money, and possessing such a document could result in a fine being imposed, along with a maximum 10-year jail sentence upon conviction.

Contact a Federal Counterfeiting Defense Attorney Today about Your Case

Although federal counterfeiting charges are serious, you still have the opportunity to defend yourself against the charge. You also have a right to ensure that all of your legal and constitutional rights are protected while your criminal case is pending. 

If you are currently being investigated for federal counterfeiting charges, time may be of the essence. Generally speaking, the earlier you seek experienced legal representation for your federal case, the better off you will be in the long run. Attorney Brian Joslyn of the Joslyn Law Firm has significant experience with successfully defending individuals facing counterfeiting charges in the federal court system. Convictions for these federal charges can lead to harsh criminal penalties and other consequences, and the right lawyer will work to defend you against your charge and safeguard you from these potential consequences.

To schedule a free legal consultation and case evaluation with an experienced federal counterfeiting attorney, give us a call today at (614) 444-1900 or contact us online for more information about how we could assist you with your criminal matter.



  • Brian Joslyn was named Best Lawyer in 2019 by Birdeye.
  • Columbus CEO magazine has yearly selections for the best attorneys in Columbus Ohio. Brian Joslyn has been identified as one of the most highly skilled attorneys across central Ohio.
  • Brian Joslyn has earned recognition for community leadership by Lawyer LegionLawyer Legion
  • Preeminent Attorney Award. Peer rated for highest level of professional exellence.
  • The Better Business Bureau (BBB), founded in 1912, is a private, nonprofit organization whose self-described mission is to focus on advancing marketplace trust.

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