Thursday, March 13, 2014

Incomplete counterfeit bills count towards face value calculation under U.S.S.G. § 2B5.1(b)(1)

In United States v. Woronwicz, No. 12-4320 (3d Cir. March 12,2012), the Court held that incomplete counterfeit bills should be included in face value calculation under U.S.S.G. § 2B5.1(b)(1). Woronwicz was found with over $207,000 in counterfeit bills: 90% were completed on only one side, and $20,000 were completed on both sides. He pled guilty to counterfeiting in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 474. While Note 3 to § 2B5.1(b) excepts “items that are so obviously counterfeit that they are unlikely to be accepted even if subjected to only minimal scrutiny,” the reach of Note 3 is limited to subsection (b)(2). Incomplete bills, like bills of unpassable quality, all count towards (b)(1). Thus, the 12-level enhancement for counterfeit currency exceeding $200,000 was correctly applied.

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