Senate approves bill on counterfeiting

General Assembly

March 31, 2004

The state Senate gave preliminary passage to a bill yesterday that would make it a felony to counterfeit checks, letters of credit or other negotiable notes.

In addition, the measure, which will be on the floor for a final vote this week, would allow a state's attorney or the Maryland attorney general to investigate and prosecute alleged misdemeanor or felony violations of the counterfeiting statute. A suspect could be prosecuted in any county in which any part of the crime occurred or where the victim lives or conducts business.

The legislation is a response to an article in The Sun that showed a fivefold increase in reports of counterfeit checks in Maryland since 1996. The growth in the problem has largely been related to advancements in computer technology, which have made it easier to produce fake notes.

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