When most New Yorkers think of counterfeit crimes, fake money typically comes to mind. However, there are a myriad of ways one can carry out this federal crime. More recently, there has been a seizure of parking placards in the state — an item that has fuelled a black market industry over the years. While the act seemed minor in some ways, the penalties for these types of crimes can be serious.
As The New York Times relayed in a report on the incident, 30 people faced various charges last October for possession of a forged instrument, criminal impersonation and other illegal practices. The New York residents had used fake placards that emulated official city-issued documents to park in special zones without paying the price of a ticket. Five of the 30 allegedly used handicapped zone passes; three others were accused of submitting copies of the false placards to the city’s financial department. One official from the Department of Investigation considered the crimes an act of stealing the city’s resources.
As for state-specific counterfeit laws, the New York Senate shares that a person is guilty of trademark counterfeiting in the second degree when he or she does the following, with intentions of defrauding another person or with the intent to bypass lawful restrictions regarding any step of the process:
A person is also guilty of this crime when he or she offers goods for sale that bear a counterfeit trademark — or possesses the trademark with full knowledge of its counterfeit status. The Senate also notes that this crime constitutes a Class E felony. Although individual cases may vary, the message is clear: the penalties that come with such federal crimes can affect a person long after the incident has been left in the past.