SW Legal studies in Business

Counterfeiting Trademarks Is Crime of Moral Turpitude

Appeals court upheld a ruling by the immigration service that an alien convicted of making and selling counterfeit goods that violated registered trademarks committed a crime of moral turpitude. The act involved fraud, which is clearly moral turpitude, and is grounds for deportation.

Topic Criminal Law
Key Words

Moral Turpitude; Immigration; Counterfeiting

C A S E   S U M M A R Y

Tall, from Senegal, arrived in the U.S. in 1981 without a visa. In 2003, he pled guilty to counterfeiting a registered trademark, in violation of California’s penal code, and was placed on probation for three years. In 2004, he pled guilty to nine new counts of counterfeit of a registered mark and was sentenced to prison for two years. After completion of the prison sentence, the Department of Homeland Security began proceedings to remove Tall from the country. The government argued that he was inadmissible in the U.S. because he was an alien convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The Immigration Judge ruled that Tall’s convictions were crimes of moral turpitude, so he would be expelled. He appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals, which affirmed the decision. Tall petitioned the federal appeals court for review of that decision.


Petition denied. A crime whose nature is inherently fraudulent qualifies as a crime of moral turpitude, rendering an alien removable. The offense of willfully manufacturing, intentionally selling, or knowingly possessing for sale a counterfeit trademark was a crime involving moral turpitude as it is inherently fraudulent.


Tall v. Mukasey, 517 F.3d 1115 (9th Cir., 2008)

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