2005 Federal Sentencing Guidelines
Chapter 2 - PART B - BASIC ECONOMIC OFFENSES
§2B5.1. Offenses Involving
Counterfeit Bearer Obligations of the United States
(a) Base Offense Level: 9
(b) Specific Offense Characteristics
(1) If the face value of the counterfeit items (A) exceeded $2,000 but did
not exceed $5,000, increase by 1 level;
or (B) exceeded $5,000, increase by the number of levels from the table in §2B1.1
(Theft, Property Destruction, and Fraud) corresponding to that amount.
(2) If the defendant (A) manufactured or produced any counterfeit obligation
or security of the United States, or possessed or had custody of or control
over a counterfeiting device or materials used for counterfeiting; or (B)
controlled or possessed (i) counterfeiting paper similar to a distinctive
paper; or (ii) a feature or device essentially identical to a distinctive
counterfeit deterrent, increase by 2 levels.
(3) If subsection (b)(2)(A) applies, and the offense level determined under
that subsection is less than level 15,
increase to level 15.
(4) If a dangerous weapon (including a firearm) was possessed in connection
with the offense, increase by 2 levels.
If the resulting offense level is less than level 13,
increase to level 13.
(5) If any part of the offense was committed outside the United States,
increase by 2 levels.
Statutory Provisions: 18
U.S.C. §§ 470-474A, 476, 477, 500, 501, 1003. For additional statutory
provision(s), see Appendix
A (Statutory Index).
purposes of this guideline:
"Distinctive counterfeit deterrent" and "distinctive paper" have the meaning
given those terms in 18 U.S.C. § 474A(c)(2) and (1), respectively.
"United States" means each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia,
the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, the
Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa.
2. Applicability to Counterfeit
Bearer Obligations of the United States.— This guideline applies
to counterfeiting of United States currency and coins, food stamps, postage
stamps, treasury bills, bearer bonds and other items that generally could
be described as bearer obligations of the United States, i.e.,
that are not made out to a specific payee.
3. Inapplicability to Genuine but
Fraudulently Altered Instruments.—"Counterfeit," as used in
this section, means an instrument that purports to be genuine but is not,
because it has been falsely made or manufactured in its entirety. Offenses
involving genuine instruments that have been altered are covered under §2B1.1
(Theft, Property Destruction, and Fraud).
4. Inapplicability to Certain Obviously
Counterfeit Items.—Subsection (b)(2)(A) does not apply to persons
who produce items that are so obviously counterfeit that they are unlikely
to be accepted even if subjected to only minimal scrutiny.
Background: Possession of
counterfeiting devices to copy obligations (including securities) of the United
States is treated as an aggravated form of counterfeiting because of the sophistication
and planning involved in manufacturing counterfeit obligations and the public
policy interest in protecting the integrity of government obligations. Similarly,
an enhancement is provided for a defendant who produces, rather than merely
passes, the counterfeit items.
Subsection (b)(4) implements, in a broader form, the instruction to the Commission
in section 110512 of Public Law 103-322.
Historical Note: Effective
November 1, 1987. Amended effective January 15, 1988 (see Appendix
C, amendment 16); November 1, 1989 (see Appendix
C, amendment 115); November 1, 1995 (see Appendix
C, amendment 513); November 1, 1997 (see Appendix
C, amendment 554); November 1, 1998 (see Appendix
C, amendment 587); November 1, 2000 (see Appendix
C, amendments 595 and 605); November 1, 2001 (see Appendix
C, amendments 617 and 618).