The penalties for counterfeiting both foreign and U.S. currencies include a maxium fine of up $250,000 and up to 20 years in prison, according to Criminal Defense Lawyer. The fine may be doubled where other people in addition to the counterfeiter benefit in the crime.
Counterfeiters who piece together two bills into one bill face up to a 10-year prison sentence, notes Criminal Defense Lawyer. Individuals who counterfeit dimes and more valuable coins and gold and silver bars potentially face up to a 15-year prison sentence. One defense to counterfeiting is lack of intent to defraud. Also, counterfeiters have successfully argued in defense that their counterfeited goods are so poorly made that they are unable to fool any reasonable person.