The recent case of two inmates convicted of murder walking out of a Florida prison easily with forged release papers brings to light how common forgery is today. No one questioned the documents and out they walked.
I read that the forgery accounts for 1.7% of the crime in America during the last decade. That might not seem huge, but it ranks almost equal with embezzlement (1.9%). Robbery, which you hear about every night on the news, comes in at 9%. But that puts the incidence of forgeries in perspective – there is a lot of it happening.
Forgery can be a lot of things, but in the end, it is used to get something by illegal means. Before the prolific use of debit and credit cards, forged checks were widespread. Now, the incidence of forgery of signature in legal documents for property dealings, adoptions, legal agreements and contracts outnumbers forged checks. But forgeries for medical prescriptions and even forged paintings and antiquities continue to occur.
Is it disturbing? Yes.
Is it scary? Can be.
Is it undetectable? No.
While International Investigators does not keep in-house experts on fine art and antiquities, we do utilize the services of experts in the field of handwriting analysis. With the cooperation of the victim, our handwriting analysis experts each work as a forensic examiner to uncover what are forged signatures.
Document forgery accounts for a large majority of forgeries. Contracts and agreements, ownership documents for property, adoption and guardianship of minors may be legal agreements, but they are also often emotionally-charged transactions. So when an attorney calls to say his client did not sign the document in question, we call in the big gun – a handwriting analysis expert.
Our handwriting analysts can testify in court as to their methodology and their opinion about the validity of the document in question.
So, if you find yourself in a situation where you suspect your signature or possession has been forged, don’t panic, keep your head about you. Contact your attorney and suggest you call International Investigators to get access to an expert forensic document examiner and someone who can give you an expert handwriting analysis.
-T. Wilcox, CEO, International Investigators