counterfeiting

Crime of making an unauthorized imitation of a genuine article, typically money, with the intent to deceive or defraud.

Because of the value conferred on money and the high level of technical skill required to imitate it, counterfeiting is singled out from other acts of forgery. It is generally punished as a felony (see felony and misdemeanour). The international police organization Interpol was established primarily to organize law-enforcement efforts against counterfeiting. Software, credit cards, designer clothing, and watches are among nonmoney items commonly counterfeited.

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      manufacture of false money for gain, a kind of forgery in that something is copied so as to defraud by passing it for the original or genuine article. Because of the value conferred on money and the high level of technical skill required to imitate it, counterfeiting is singled out from other acts of forgery and is treated as a separate crime.

      Laws against counterfeiting are relatively uniform from country to country, mostly as a consequence of the diplomatic conference held in Geneva in 1929 that produced a convention signed by 32 major powers. This convention has since been recognized by most of the states gaining independence after 1929.

      These states punish counterfeiters of both their own and other currencies. Offenders may be extradited so as not to escape punishment by moving from country to country. Although counterfeiting itself is generally recognized as a felony requiring imprisonment, less severe penalties are generally reserved for the mere participation in counterfeiting, the possession of counterfeiting equipment, the passing of false money, or the possession of such money. The international police organization Interpol was established primarily to organize the fight against counterfeiting.

      In addition to stringent legal measures, many governments have undertaken a number of physical measures to prevent the counterfeiting of money. In the United States both printed bills and struck coins have been given characteristic features that, when closely examined, will prove the money to be genuine or counterfeit.

      One of the more obvious traits of a counterfeit bill is the poor resolution of lines in the engraving of the bill. The line-intaglio process used for the printing of bills produces a distinctive sharpness of fine lines and readily discernible differences in ink thickness. Genuine bills have another element that is difficult to imitate: the use of a distinctive cotton and linen paper specially made for the government printing office and characterized by tiny blue and red silk fibres. A third feature of government-printed bills is a border design composed of a lacelike network of fine white lines created by a geometric lathe. Close examination of this feature for clear, unbroken lines will aid in the detection of counterfeit money. The test of rubbing a bill on a piece of paper to prove its genuineness is not an accurate one, because a genuine bill will give off ink as readily as a counterfeit.

      In the United States, coins (coin) generally are not counterfeited as often as are bills, partially because of their lesser value. Another reason that coins are less often counterfeited is that, since 1965, the use of silver in coin production (10- and 25-cent pieces) was reduced 50 percent. Because counterfeit coins are usually cast rather than struck, they exhibit a lack of definition, thin plating, and sometimes even tiny globules that indicate where the metal penetrated porous areas of the mold.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • counterfeiting — index forgery Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 counterfeiting …   Law dictionary

  • counterfeiting — UK US /ˈkaʊntəˌfɪtɪŋ/ noun [U] ► the activity of making illegal copies of things such as bank notes, DVDs, or official documents: »allegations of counterfeiting and money laundering »the growing problem of counterfeiting and piracy …   Financial and business terms

  • counterfeiting — noun [noncount] He was sent to jail for counterfeiting. • • • Main Entry: ↑counterfeit …   Useful english dictionary

  • Counterfeiting —    The problem of stealing or illegally taking an idea or product design and passing it off or selling it as your own. Counterfeiting, or product piracy, in 2005 accounted for approximately $600 billion in lost revenue globally. It also accounts… …   Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry

  • Counterfeiting — Counterfeit Coun ter*feit, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Counterfeited}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Counterfeiting}.] 1. To imitate, or put on a semblance of; to mimic; as, to counterfeit the voice of another person. [1913 Webster] Full well they laughed with… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • counterfeiting — Synonyms and related words: coinage, coining, copying, emulation, fakery, following, forgery, hit off, imitation, impersonation, imposture, impression, mimesis, mintage, mirroring, onomatopoeia, parody, plagiarism, plagiary, repetition,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • counterfeiting — (Roget s IV) n. Syn. copying, simulation, duplication; see imitation 1 , pretending , reproduction 1 …   English dictionary for students

  • Counterfeiting — ⇡ Markenpiraterie, ⇡ Produktpiraterie …   Lexikon der Economics

  • counterfeiting — n. illegal copying (of money, documents, etc.); forgery coun·ter·feit || kaÊŠntÉ™(r)fɪt v. make a fraudulent replica, copy, forge (i.e. money or documents) adj. forged, copied, fake, false n. forgery, fake, imitation, simulation …   English contemporary dictionary

  • counterfeiting — Making a counterfeit, especially counterfeit money; the federal offense of making counterfeit money. 20 Am J2d Counterf § 1 …   Ballentine's law dictionary

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