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CRM 1000-1499

1460. Counterfeiting -- 18 U.S.C. 489

Section 489 of Title 18 prohibits the making of any token, disc, or device in the likeness or similitude of coins in the United States, except under the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury. Title 18 U.S.C. § 475 prohibits the making, distribution, or use of any business card, notice, placard, handbill, or advertisement in the likeness or similitude of an obligation or security of the United States. Neither statute should be confused with currency counterfeiting statutes; the counterfeiting of coins is proscribed by 18 U.S.C. 485, while the counterfeiting of currency is proscribed by 18 U.S.C. §  471. Title 18 U.S.C. §§ 475 and 489 relate to reproductions which are made in the general design of coins or currency but which vary sufficiently in detail that they have no serious potential for use in place of genuine money.

[cited in JM 9-64.111]