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January 5, 2019

A forged Notary seal ends someone up with a prison sentence

A man from Glendale, CA earned himself a ten year prison sentence by forging a Notary seal in an attempted to conduct a 5.4 million dollar Mortgage fraud scheme. There were two co-conspirators who each served sentences themselves. One was for 6.5 years and the other for 4. years.

The fact that the criminal had altered an “authentication feature,” made the sentencing longer according to federal guidelines. The criminal used falsified documents using his false seal to fool county recorders.

Crimes like this involving Notaries engaging in fraud relating to real property (such as houses, etc.) are the worst crimes that a Notary can commit and normally end up in jail time. There are other things Notaries typically do wrong like falsifying dates on certificates which can also get you in a lot of trouble. Notaries typically do not administer Oaths correctly, or at all which can result in your commission being revoked. As a Notary, you really need to consider the fact that if you fool around with your commission, it can be taken away from you.

There was another case where a Sacramento Notary was involved in a 19 million dollar fraud scheme by impersonating NNA’s 2007 Notary of the Year. The perpetrator fled to Lebanon and was arrested upon re-entering the United States. Sampson, the Notary whose name was fraudulently used protected herself by showing her journal to prove that she had not performed those notarizations.

Let this be a lesson to those who say, and often in a whiny voice, “My state doesn’t require journals.” Without that journal, you could be accused of conspiracy in a 19 million dollar fraud scheme or identity fraud, or worse…

You might also like:

See our string of posts about Notary fraud
http://blog.123notary.com/?s=notary+fraud

California man pleads guilty in stolen Notary ID case.
https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2012/01/california-guilty-notary-id-case

What is the burden of proof for Notary fraud?
https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/what-is-a-burden-of-proof-for-a-notary-fraud-in-ca-2629309.html

Notary Public Seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21411

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What is the penalty for notary fraud?
Notary Fraud California
Notary Fraud New York
Notary Fraud Florida
Can a Notary be sued for fraud?
Fraudulent Notarization Pennsylvania
Fraudulent Notarization California
Fraudulent Notarization New York
What is the legal charge for witness and notary for fraudulent signatures
What is the punishment for an attorney notarizing a fraudulent document?
What to do about a fraudulent notary signature

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March 3, 2015

I was Forged

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , , — admin @ 8:12 am

I was Forged
I receive an email, supposedly from Germany. I was asked to verify that I did the notarization on a Will and an Affidavit of Claim. The sender included PDF copies of the two documents. They were hilarious forgeries. The signatures of my name as Notary on the Will, and as Commissioner for Oaths were not even close. Oddly, the first letter of my last name was signed with a lower case “e”, not a capital “E”. I replied that the documents were not signed by me.

The “notarization” of the will did not include an image of my notary stamp. In NY it’s required to either type or print the notary information under the signature. Also, notaries who are not attorneys are not allowed to notarize the signature of the person who the will is for. The will had my name as also notarizing the witnesses. Each name in the notary section was written with a different handwriting. An image of the seal of New York State was copied onto each document, presumably to replace a proper notary seal. It was a mess.

New York City does have a Commissioner of Deeds office, similar to the much more useful statewide Notary function. However, the forger replaced “Deeds” with “Oaths” – clearly this was not the work of a dedicated professional. The amount involved was in the tens of millions, in US dollars. Even stranger: these were to be used to settle in a German court. Usually, US notarized documents bound for other countries receive an Apostille; but it was not present. Of course it could not be. Part of the Apostille issuing procedure (in NY) includes notary signature verification.

So much for the actual forgery; I thought my reply ended my involvement. However, the next email from Germany raised the alarm bells. I was asked if the named beneficiary to the Will was “a fraud” and if the Affidavit of Claim was a fake. Now I was being asked IMHO a legal question. The second reply was very carefully worded. “The determination of fraud and fake are issues to be determined by the courts”. You never really know who is sending the email and if they have a hidden agenda. Write emails in such a manner that they can’t be used against you in litigation.

US currency is designed to thwart counterfeiting. But, if the recipient does not make an effort to examine the cash; even the most inept efforts are successful. In a similar manner, the recipient of a notarization should make some effort to verify its authenticity. An attachment issued by the NY State County Clerks, the Authentication; specifically mentions the signature being verified. Their form is “overstamped” after being affixed to my notarization. The issue of a “cut and paste” of a valid notaries signature onto a document fails under close examination. It might “look good” but a crime lab will find toner not ink in that signature.

As my name is “out there” on the internet it was easy for the person in Germany to obtain my email address. I can only wonder how many other forgeries are out there. Thankfully the forgery was legible and that gave access to me. Which is worse? An illegible signature that does not “point” to the notary, or a clear one that specifically spells your name? Perhaps the legibility was to permit the recipient to “look me up” to verify I was really a notary. What can be done to stop this abuse? Nothing I can think of. Sticking to my registered signature, using stamp and embosser (always) makes it easy to spot a forgery. If you have actually had to appear in court to contest a forgery please leave a comment detailing your experiences.

.

You might also like:

Fraud & Forgery in the Notary Profession
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2294

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December 16, 2014

A forged document vs. a forged notary seal?

What if the document was forged.
Imagine that you are a notary public who just got in huge trouble for notarizing a forged document. It is not your responsibility to know that the document was forged. It is only your responsibility to know that the person who was documented as signing the document appeared before you, proved their identity, and signed the document before you notarized it.

Forged Identification
Or what if the ID used for the notarization was forged? You can still take journal thumbprints and that can get you off the legal hook a lot faster if you keep a record of those thumbprints. But, what about a forged notary seal?

E&O won’t help unless you made an error.
Some notaries think that since they have Errors & Omissions insurance that they will be covered. But, does E&O cover legal expenses? The real problem is that E&O will probably say that the notary didn’t make any errors — it was someone else who forged their seal. Therefore it is a criminal matter, and the notary in question is not at fault — providing you can prove that the notary seal indeed was forged.

If your notary seal was forged, how would you prove it?
My notary seal’s impression was copied onto an Acknowledgment form. The notary’s handwriting on the form didn’t match mine at all and they didn’t cross out the his/her/their or the (s) on the certificate either proving that they were not me, and most likely not a notary (at least not a good notary.) If the borders on the seal don’t match yours, that is another clue. If you don’t have a journal entry of the transaction, that might void the notarization entirely in certain states — not sure what the law says about that one. But, it could constitute proof that you didn’t do the notarization in question if there is no journal entry, assuming that you always keep a sequential journal entry of all notarial transactions.

What if you are sued?
Unfortunately, as a notary, if you are sued for fraud, or being involved with fraud, you could lose $20,000 in legal expenses only to be proven innocent. You lose, even if you win. E&O insurance won’t protect you if you are not at fault. So, if you are falsely accused because someone else did fraud including a seal forger, a corrupt Title Officer, or someone else, you can get in big trouble. It is best to try to reason with the plaintiff and prove to them through whatever evidence that you have that you are not one of the parties to be blamed. You can also tell them that you will counter sue for legal expenses and time lost if proven not guilty.

Identifying the fraud
One of the issues in catching a fraudulent impostor notary is that they are hard to catch. The only people who have seen them would be notary customers. Those customers would have found the person’s number online or in the yellow pages or through a referral. Notary clients very rarely check the ID of the notary, so the notary could be an impostor and get away with it for a while without being caught. But, why would an impostor notarize many people. Chances are that the impostor notary would be well acquainted with the individual who forged loan documents, or could be the same person which means that nobody would see him or catch him. If he forged the signature of the borrower as well, then it gets very complicated. Three forgeries in one! If they forge a notary seal, the forged seal might have the name of a real notary on it. In such a case, the real notary would be able to prove through his journal that he never notarized that forged document. Additionally, the forger would have to not only forge the signature of the borrower, but also of that particular notary which would require quite some skill. I always used an embosser that left a raised seal in the document. A fraud would have to be pretty clever to forge my seal and my embosser and use it like I did — and in the one case where my seal was forged, they didn’t have the brains to do it correctly and got caught (but, not necessarily prosecuted – or at least I was not informed of what happened after the fact.)

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You might also like:

Fraud & Forgery related to the Notary Profession
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2294

An absurd forgery of MY notarization
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19974

Facial recognition techniques can help you spot fake ID
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20242

Penalties for notary misconduct and fraud
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21315

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December 25, 2019

An alleged Notary forges a signature in Hawaii

An alleged Notary forged Puana’s name. Puana, a Hawaii resident and Notary, as relative of the victem named Kealoha was investigated by forensic experts to determine who signed the name. An alleged Alison Lee Wong was determined to have forged the signature, however, it was later found that there is no such person.

A person named Kealoha who was a former deputy prosecutor stated that her mailbox had been stolen, and that was the damage of this forgery case according to the news article that I am linking to below.

https://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/2019/06/08/hawaii-news/kealoha-corruption-trial-focuses-on-alleged-fake-notary/

This is a very odd and convoluted story. I hope you enjoy the link and can figure this one out! Aloha!

You might also like:

A forged notary seal ends someone with a prison sentence
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21355

I was forged (Ken’s experience)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13659

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November 17, 2019

Ways to get arrested as a Notary Public

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 5:48 am

Many people think that being a Notary is a fun and easy way to make a few extra dollars. But, it can be dangerous and dramatic as well. Notaries do get arrested — not that often, but it happens.

1. Commit fraud involving real property
You will probably be looking at jail time if you commit fraud or falsify a notary certificate that has to do with a deed affecting real property.

2. Get in a physical altercation with a borrower
If the borrower yells at you and you punch them out, you might get arrested.

3. Get in an altercation with a family member or your daughter’s boyfriend
One Notary did this, the police were called, and this person had their commission revoked due to a felony conviction. It all happened so suddenly too.

4. Notarize someone who used a false ID and falsified thumbprints by using crazy glue on his thumb.
You will probably end up in court and might be investigated for conspiracy to commit fraud.

5. Drive too fast to a notary appointment.
Were you going 90 in a 30 mile an hour district because you were late to a signing because your printer got stuck on page three? You might get locked up for that.

6. Fail to keep journal entries or fail to keep them correctly.
Okay, you might not get arrested for this, but you might get your commission cancelled, revoked, or end up investigated in court where you will have no evidence. As a Notary, your journal is your only evidence in court because how can you honestly remember what you did three years ago when you probably had thousands of appointments that year?

7. Sell someone’s personal information
You might learn a whole lot about someone based on their information on the 1003. But, don’t share that with others otherwise you might get in trouble. Remember — that information is confidential.

8. Get caught snooping around someone’s house if you arrive before they get back from work.
Yes, the neighbors might call the police and you might get in trouble. On the other hand, if you did not engage in breaking and entering, you are probably okay.

9. Run over the borrower in the driveway
You might get arrested for that. It could be considered a hate crime if you hate your job. On the other hand, you could explain that you hate signing companies, not signers and the judge would probably understand.

10. Steal oxy-codene from the borrowers.
One Notary had to go to the bathroom. They did more than just urinate there. They walked out of that house with a lot of prescription medicine which doesn’t come cheap. It is hard to prove if you stole it, but that is one crime that 123notary is aware of.

11. Arrive drunk at a signing
Some signers arrive drunk or high at a signing. That is a way to get locked up as well as get fired. You could also dress like you are going to a club or going to the beach and you might get fired, but probably wouldn’t get locked up.

You might also like:

Notary arrested for stealing spices from borrowers
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20799

A forged notary seal ends someone up with a prison sentence
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21355

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August 27, 2019

Notary class where students are full of wise cracks

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 10:52 pm

TEACHER: Okay class, please turn to page four.

CLASS: Yes, teacher.

TEACHER: Now who can tell me what an embosser is?

JOHNNY: An embosser is a type of notary seal that leaves a raised impression.

TEACHER: Very good Johnny. You may sit down now.

JOHNNY: Does that raise your impression of me?

TEACHER: Yes Johnny, you are a fine young man.

TIMMY: Will he get a raise?

TEACHER: Enough out of you Timmy. No raise for you. Now, a Notary must keep a journal of Notarial acts, does any one know why?

TIMMY: Because the state makes us?

TEACHER: Yes, Timmy, but I was looking for more of an intrinsic reason.

TIMMY: Umm, because it would look more official?

TEACHER: No class, it is because you need a record of what you notarized just in case someone claims that the particular document was fraudulently notarized. Now, do we know why the State of California requires thumbprinting for recorded documents and Powers of Attorney/

FRED: Umm, so you get to hold the signer’s hand… like if she is a hot woman?

TEACHER: No, it is because an identity document can be forged but you cannot fake a thumbprint, at least I don’t think you can. So, how would you rate this class so far?

JOHNNY: Two thumbs up, but two thumbs not from the same signer as you are only supposed to use the right thumbprint in your journal unless it has been amputated.

TEACHER: Very good Johnny, that is the first intelligent and non demented thing you have said all semester. How did you acquire this knowledge?

JOHNNY: I broke down and actually did something called (pause) reading.

TEACHER: God forbid! Now how do we fill in a certificate?

TIMMY: Won’t it fill in on its own shortly after it hits puberty?

TEACHER: Only if it is a female certificate Timmy. But, good try. You need to fill in the county, name of notary, signer, date, and cross out unnecessary information in the pronoun section. But, the optional information below is also critical. You should mention the number of pages in the document, the document date, and the name of the document just in case someone wants to put that certificate and attach it to some other document.

FRED: Hmm, I think we’re on the same page here. But, I didn’t know documents had dates. Do they kiss on the first date?

TEACHER: I think that depends on — what kind of document it is.

TIMMY: I tried kissing a document and it said very loudly, and I quote — “I’m not that kind of document.”

TEACHER: Well, if you are the one trying to kiss it, I think that most documents would say the same thing.

JOHNNY: Yeah, maybe you should try to kiss a blind document, that way it would not realize what it was kissing.

TEACHER: Another intelligent point Johnny. We are really on a role now! Well, that concludes class for the day. Thanks for coming. Don’t forget to initial on your way out!

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Notary high school 80’s style
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22399

Are you a bad boy notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22380

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April 1, 2019

Why Is It Worthwhile to Notarize a Will?

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — Tags: — admin @ 8:16 am

Why Is It Worthwhile to Notarize a Will?
Notarization is also known as notarial acts. This is a three party process conducted by a notary public which includes record keeping, vetting and certifying. This is the official procedure taken to prevent fraud and also assure parties in the transaction that the document, in this case, the will being notarized is authentic. Not only the will but banking transactions documents should be notarized too.

By signing a will, one specifies how they want their property distributed after their death. This process is called probate. Whereas some states do not necessarily require notarization of wills, notarizing a will might speed up the probate speed. The question you and I might be having is, why is it worthwhile to notarize a will? Let us explore.

In most countries, a notary is carried out by a notary public who in this case acts as an eyewitness in discharging restrictive fraud activities connected to your will. There is also an act that governs such duties. He can direct oaths and witness swearing by deponents for affidavits. It is also believed that a notary can also act as an arbitrator.

Who Is Supposed To Notarize?
Notarization can be conducted by a practicing lawyer who has experience of at least 7 to 10 years. Also, an individual who has served as a judicial service member or has served under central or state government and whose position required specialized knowledge of the law is also qualified to become a notary.

Benefits of Notarizing a Will
Prevents future frauds and identity theft
George Sink urges that a notarized will help to verify that you are the one signing your will. This will help you, the owner from future frauds or identity theft in such a way that no one else can present or produce a forged will.

Notarizing your will prevents the owner from unpredictable fraud cases. This is because regardless of what the other party produces, your notarized will affirms you as the sole owner and that, can never be challenged.

Notarizing your will furthermore affirm to the fact that all the signatories are real and authentic. It also shows that genuine people signed them and that the will itself is not fabricated.

Helps Protect the rights of the will
A notarized will which has been fully certified by a notary public also aids in protecting the rights of the will. Furthermore, to avoid further and possible court proceedings, it is rather advisable for individuals to notarize their will.

Prevent court rejections
In some cases, notarizing a will is mandatory. Some lawyers argue that if you do not notarize your will, its validity in future might be questioned which might even lead to court rejections, in case there is a case and your will has to be produced. To avoid all this unfolding saga, it is advisable to notarize wills early enough.

The signatories do not necessarily have to testify in court
Another reason why notarizing your will is worthwhile is the fact that the signatories do not necessarily have to testify in court to authenticate their signatures. This saves a lot of money and time from both parties. Notarizing your will, therefore, serve as an enormous strategic advantage in the lawsuit.

Conclusion
We have discussed throughout the article what notarization is, who executes it and why is it a suitable procedure. All we can say is that notarizing your will is just a formality that should be implemented when signing your will. A notarized will assures the legal authenticity of an individual’s signature and identity whereas without doing so, a person cannot claim ownership of that particular will; therefore, notarization of a will is crucial.

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February 26, 2019

Notary Public Seal

Most states require a Notary Public to have a Notary Seal or Notary Stamp. This is normally a rectangular shaped seal.

The seal should have the Notary’s name, commission number, expiration date, county, and state. It would also have some type of border such as a straight line, milled, or serrated. The seal should be used with ink. Some states allow for a secondary non-inked embosser that leaves a raised impression on pieces of paper for security reasons as these cannot be fraudulently photocopied.

Your notary seal’s impression should not be smudgy or the document could be rejected by the county recorder’s office. Please be sure to re-ink your seal as necessary so your notary seal’s (notary stamp’s) impression does not get too light.

You might also like:

Notary seal information from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8337

A forged document vs. a forged notary seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10391

My stolen identity and the fraudulent notary seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20753

Miami-Vice, a shipment of illegal notary seals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19927

Two and a half Notaries — the intercontinental notary seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10432

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February 20, 2019

Notarizing Multi-Page Documents

Should a Notary notarize every page of a document? How can a Notary or signer safeguard themselves from someone swapping pages in a document after the notarization has taken place? You need answers! Here they are!

1. A Notary Public notarizes signatures on documents, not pages on documents. A particular page or pages might have notary certificates within a document. Or, a certificate could be stapled to the back of a document. Ideally that certificate should identify the corresponding document. If you have a ten page document, there will most likely only be one, and possibly two pages with notary wording.

2. A prudent Notary Public carries what is called an inkless embosser that leaves a raised seal impression. This is in ADDITION to having the legally required inked seal that is used with blank ink. The embosser can be used to emboss every single page in a notarized document. I did exactly that on everything I notarized even if there were 100 pages. I did this for safety reasons. I did not want people to get away with switching pages after the fact and dragging me into court as a result of someone else not liking the idea that a page was swapped.

3. If a signer swaps a page from a notarized document, and that page was embossed, they can still swap the page. However, it will not be legal, and it will be very obvious to the Notary Public if investigated that the new page was not part of the original notarization as the notary embosses all pages — if the notary indeed was the type of notary who embossed all pages — like me!

4. Some people initial all pages. Initialing is a type of precaution. But, initials can be forged easily, and it is sometimes not easy to tell if they were forged.

5. If a document had a page swapped, the staple and staple area in the pages might show evidence of tampering. The degree of evidence depends on how skillful the fraud was at swapping pages. Luckly in my career of 6000 Notary appointments I did not have this issue.

6. If you need to add a page to an already notarized document. What can you do? You have to notarize the entire document all over again. I had that happen. What a pain. The signer wasn’t happy. Sorry — just following the law!

.

You might also like:

Notarizing Multi-Page Documents 2011 edition
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1706

Sending loose certificates is illegal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2470

Penalties for misconduct, fraud and failure of duty
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21315

How often do Notaries end up in court?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19914

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December 14, 2018

Notary arrested for stealing spices from borrowers

Filed under: Popular on Twitter,Virtual Comedy Themes — Tags: — admin @ 12:29 am

It is common for people to go to other people’s homes and steal Oxy-codene. However, this is a new one. There was a rash in what I call spice-jacking in the Orange County area of California. It turned out to be just one guy, and a notary. But, the authorities caught on and published some public awareness materials about the subject…

You may not know if you have been spice-jacked. Answer this questionaire, and if you said yes to five or more items on this list — contact the authorities immediately — you have been spice jacked…

Have you been notarized in the last six months?
Did the notary ask you to swear on your mother’s cooking instead of a bible? Or did he substitute the bible for a Julia Child’s encyclopedia of cooking?

Has your cumin come out?
Has your coriander meandered?
Has your rose-mary been annulled?
Is your mint no longer in mint condition?
Is your tarragon just gon?
Are you no longer on the same page with your sage? (or is it showing age?)
Has your card-amom been declined (or expired)?
Have your bay leave(s) become bay left(s)?
Has your garam masala (Indian spice mix) lost its kick?
Has your turmeric’s turm expired?
Has your oregano become ore-went-and-did-not-come-back?
Has your aleppo pepper been receiving funds from Putin?
Has your haba-near-o become haba-far-away-o?
Have your c-loves turned to c-hates?
Has your ginger disappeared and then reappeared on a deserted island with Gilligan?

If so, you may have been spice jacked. Please call 888-888-8888 for immediate assistance.

The notary who committed these crimes had a last minute call for an airport notarization. Someone needed one of those permission to travel forms to have their uncle take their kid to Zacatecas in Mexico. These forms typically need to be notarized if going to Mexico. So, the notary did the notarization, got paid cash, and then proceeded to the airport restaurant. At the next table over some TSA personel were having lunch. Then some other TSA people came over with their K-9. The K-9 started sniffing the Notary’s bag. The officer was sure that they would find drugs, but all they found were remains of… you guessed it… oregano and some exotic imported red pepper powder from Egypt. The authorities then had the Notary bring them to his car where they found a huge stash of stolen spices which the Notary had obtained from his various Notary appointments. He loved Notarizing Indians specifically for this reason. The authorities contacted Orange County police and the Notary got busted.

To be safe, from now on, keep your spices under lock and key just in case some other culinarily inspired Notaries get the wrong idea about your marjoram or herbs du provence.

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A forged notary seal ends someone up with a prison sentence
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21355

Best notary comedy articles 2010 to 2014
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20288

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