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Do elections really get rigged in America through Forged Petitions?

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If you thought the recent George Clooney movie “Ides of March” made the political process seem a bit less than “ethical”… you should read about the reality of forged ballots in Indiana.

The signatures of dozens, if not hundreds, of northern Indiana residents were faked on petitions used to place presidential candidates on the state primary ballot in 2008, The Tribune and Howey Politics Indiana have revealed in an investigation.

Several pages from petitions used to qualify Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the state’s Democratic primary contain names and signatures that appear to have been copied by hand from a petition for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Schellinger. The petitions were filed with the Indiana Election Division after the St. Joseph County Voter Registration Office verified individuals’ information on the documents.


Foreclosure Fraud Crisis

Allegations of faked will, crumbling finances dog prominent Mobile lawyer

MOBILE, Ala. — The death last year of colorful Mobile County lawyer Joseph Brunson touched off a legal fight that has included accusations that another prominent local attorney helped create a phony will.

In a little more than a month, Mobile lawyer Richard Horne was repudiated by a jury reviewing the will; was hit with a $159,000 civil judgment over a loan default; filed for bankruptcy protection and was facing an ethics complaint made to the state bar.

It is a shocking turn for a man who has been a respected member of the city’s legal community for years, once serving on the bar’s ethics committee. His high-profile clients over the years have included former Orange Beach Mayor Steve Russo and former Prichard Mayor Jesse Norwood.

Mary Beth Mantiply, a Daphne lawyer who represented two of Joseph Brunson’s daughters, said she was slow to accept that the will was a fake.
“That was hard for me to believe because of Richard Horne,” she said.
Horne, a longtime friend of Brunson who helped the attorney get his law license back after a federal drug conviction, said the state bar’s confidentiality rules prohibit him from commenting.

The bar complaint, made by the stepfather of the women who contested the will in Mobile County Probate Court, accused Horne of perjury and accessory to forgery. He had 14 days to respond.

The will listed Judy Harold – Brunson’s “companion and life-long friend”  as administrator and sole beneficiary of his estate. Horne and Pauline Phillips, who worked for the company that owned the building that housed Horne’s law practice, were listed as witnesses. Horne’s secretary, Megan Graham, notarized the document.

At a trial in Mobile County Probate Court, Mantiply presented evidence that the will was created on March 12, even though Brunson died on March 10. On Dec. 13, a probate court jury took less than an hour to rule that the document was a forgery.

Mantiply said that the role of Horne, Phillips and Graham are not in doubt.

“If that will was not created until two days after Joe died, and they said they were there when he signed it, that is perjury,” she said.

Harold’s attorney, Marion “Tut” Wynne, has asked Probate Judge Don Davis to throw out the jury’s verdict based on insufficiency of the evidence. The probate judge set a hearing for Feb. 22 to hear arguments on the matter.

Wynne could not be reached for comment.

If the verdict stands, Brunson’s estate would go to his children, under state law. Mantiply said it is unclear how much money remains in Brunson’s estate. Records show that Brunson gave Harold power of attorney over his finances two days before his death.

Mantiply said that Brunson was loaded with drugs and near death.

“I have no doubt he was incompetent when he signed that,” she said.

Brunson’s home and 5 acres on Fowl River – which was assessed for almost $300,000 for tax purposes but which Mantiply said could be worth more than twice as much – will now be available to his daughters.

David Stroecker, who married Brunson’s ex-wife and helped raise Katie Brunson and Micki Brunson with their mother, said the verdict offered something more valuable than money or real estate to two young women who had a strained and distant relationship with their father for much of their lives. “The real upside is that the two children have proof that their dad loved them,” he said.

Micki Brunson, a 21-year-old Auburn University student, said the fight over her father’s estate has heaped heartache on her and her sister, a 24-year-old fashion account executive in New York.

“It’s not anything I would ever wish on anybody, because it was awful,” she said.

Brunson’s death followed a brief bout with liver cancer and a lifetime filled with alcohol, drugs, women and fast living. He gained notoriety in the 1990’s when law enforcement authorities busted him with a sport utility vehicle full of marijuana.

His half brother and close friend, Murnie Raley, said Brunson was on his way to Dauphin Island to interview for a position as the town’s attorney. He said his brother started selling drugs to feed a cocaine habit.

Brunson spent about three years in federal prison and lost his law license for a time. When it came time to apply for reinstatement, it was Horne who helped make his case. Horne also rented Brunson office space as he tried to re-establish his law practice.

Even before Brunson died, Raley said, he and others began to grow concerned about the actions of Harold, whom they called an on-again, off-again girlfriend.

Mantiply introduced documents at the trial showing that Harold signed her last name as Brunson on funeral home documents. According to testimony at the trial, Horne made calls to marriage officials inquiring about marrying Brunson and Harold.

Raley said that Harold’s daughter performed a sort-of-marriage ceremony – with Brunson practically unconscious – the night before he died.

Raley said that when he went to his brother’s house the next day, his safe had been emptied. Harold testified that the safe contained old report cards of Brunson’s children, and other sentimental artifacts with no monetary value.

But Raley said his brother told him on the last day of hunting season – Jan. 31 – that the safe contained his will, two gold bars, gold coins, money, legal documents and other valuables. Raley said Brunson told him he wanted his house sold, with the profits distributed evenly among Katie, Micki, two daughters from other relationships and Harold’s granddaughter.

“He had a big soft spot for kids,” Raley said.

Handwriting, computer experts attacked fake will.

A Daphne lawyer who contested the will of a deceased attorney from Theodore used a handwriting expert, a computer analysis and the document itself to convince a jury the will was fake.

Joseph Brunson, who died inthe month of March after a brief battle with liver cancer, purportedly made the will a month earlier. It lists Brunson’s girlfriend, Judy Harold, as the administrator and sole beneficiary. Richard Horne, a prominent Mobile lawyer, is listed as a witness.

The handwriting expert, Curt Baggett, prepared a report concluding that Brunson’s signature on the will is a forgery.

Horne declined to comment, and Marion “Tut” Wynne, Harold’s attorney, could not be reached for comment.

Attorney Mary Beth Mantiply, who represented two of Brunson’s daughters at a trial in Mobile County Probate Court last month, also had the computer from Brunson’s office seized, and hired a computer expert to examine it.

The expert, Gus Dimitrelos, testified that the will was created on March 12, two days after Brunson died – not on Feb. 9, as it appeared. Dimitrelos testified that the person who drafted the will took elaborate steps to conceal the date on which the document was created.

But the kicker, Mantiply said, was the will, itself. She said the three-page document had numerous typographical errors – including the misspelled middle name of one of Brunson’s daughters.

“Joe wasan English major and had a photographic memory,” said Dave Stroecker, the stepfather of the women who contested the will.

Murnie Raley, Brunson’s half brother and close friend, said he and other relatives went to Horne’s office on March 12 to ask about funeral arrangements. When Brunson’s mother asked about a will, Raley said, Horne said he did not know if one existed.

Horne then asked his secretary, who brought a will to him, Raley said.

Raley said that Horne would not show the will to the family, but informed them that Brunson had left everything to Harold.

Mantiply said it was odd that Horne first claimed not to know if Brunson had a will, given that he ended up listed as a witness to the will.

Mantiply also pointed to inconsistent statements. She said that Pauline Phillips, the other witness to the will, said in a tape-recorded statement that only Brunson and Horne’s secretary were at her office when the will was signed and notarized.

By the time she testified at a deposition in October, however, she changed her story to match Horne’s, according to transcripts.

In his deposition, Horne testified that he did not prepare paperwork giving Harold power of attorney over Brunson’s finances. After Mantiply found a witness who said otherwise, Horne took the unusual step of submitting a correction to his deposition in December, less than two weeks before the probate trial.

In the revised statement, Horne said he realized his mistake during a review of his deposition and a conversation with Harold. He testified at the trial that his revision had nothing to do with the witness that Mantiply produced, according to a transcript of the proceeding.

Horne’s mounting financial problems

Mobile lawyer Richard Horne, who has come under fire for a will that a jury determined was a fake, has battled mounting financial problems over the past year.

Here is a summary of those troubles:

Feb. 10:  Two federal tax liens totaling $53,819.71 are levied against Horne.

Aug. 3:  Baldwin County Circuit Judge J. Lang Floyd awards $4,985.16 plus interest to Citibank for an unpaid credit card bill issued to Horne’s wife, Patricia.

Aug. 11:  Baldwin County Circuit Judge Robert Wilters awards Citibank $5,111.27 for an unpaid credit card bill issued to Patricia Horne.

Sept. 17:  Richard Horne signs a “deed in lieu of foreclosure,” in which he agrees to give up his home on Main Street in Montrose. That same day, Citibank wins a default judgment in the amount of $4,400.50 plus court costs over failure to make payments on a credit card.

Sept. 22:  NSA Agencies, which owns the building at 261 N. Joachim St. in Mobile where Horne had a second-floor law office, files a lawsuit in Mobile County Circuit Court. The suit accuses Horne of breaking the lease and failing to pay $26,400 in rent.

Dec. 27:  Chief U.S. District Judge William Steele awards Wells Fargo $159,880 plus interests and attorney fees over a pair of loans that Horne defaulted on.

Jan. 5:  Horne’s home in Daphne is sold for $165,000 in a public auction following a foreclosure.

Jan. 10:  Horne files for bankruptcy protection, claiming assets of $461,604 and debts of $1.046 million. The bankruptcy halts all debt collection by Horne’s creditors while he works out a repayment plan.

More Article here:  www.marybethmantiply.com

Forgery bedevils the Kerouac estate

A forged will sends Jack Kerouac scholars, fans, collectors, literary executors, and lawyers on the warpath.

When Jack Kerouac died, wallowing in alcohol and obscurity, the bank estimated his estate’s value at $91. He left everything to his mother, and when she died, she left it to Kerouac’s third wife, Stella Sampas—or so everyone believed. A Florida court ruled Gabrielle Kerouac’s will a forgery. But thanks to an earlier summary judgment, the $20 million estate, which Stella’s family inherited after her death, is staying put.

When Kerouac’s disowned daughter Jan saw the will, she immediately suspected it was a forgery. “It was all weird and scraggly and misspelled,” she told the Telegraph. But Jan died before the case could be resolved, and a judge issued a ruling legitimizing the Sampas family’s claim. Only then did Kerouac’s nephew turn up with a letter in which the late author said he didn’t want to leave “a dang blasted, fucking, goddamn thing to my wife’s one hundred Greek relatives.” It was too late; the ruling stands.

When Jack Kerouac wrote his will shortly before his death in 1969, he was broke. Forty years later a ferocious battle raged over his multi-million dollar literary estate. Kerouac, at odds with his third wife, Stella Sampas, had left everything to his mother, Gabrielle Kerouac. But when Gabrielle Kerouac passed away in 1973, her will indicated that the entire estate would go to Sampas…news that had shocked Kerouac’s remaining blood relatives…his daughter Jan, and his nephew Paul Blake Jr. When Sampas died in 1990, her siblings inherited the Kerouac literary estate, with the youngest brother, John Sampas, acting as executor. It was a stunning series of events for Kerouac scholars and fans, but the real surprise was yet to come…a judge in Tampa, Florida ruled that Gabrielle Kerouac’s 1973 will was a forgery.

Gerald Nicosia, author of the acclaimed Kerouac biography, Memory Babe, first suspected foul play in 1994, when Jan Kerouac saw a copy of the will for the first time and noticed that her grandmother’s name was misspelled.

“We are dealing with perhaps the most influential American novelist of the twentieth century, after all, and it is now proven that his $30 million estate was stolen, plain and simple,” said Nicosia.

The Sampas family was not directly involved in the hearing, but John Sampas disagreed with the verdict.

The (forged) will of Gabrielle Kerouac.

“We do not believe the will of Gabrielle Kerouac was forged and do believe the judge based his ruling on fictitious accounts by a doctor who never met Gabrielle Kerouac,” he wrote in an email.

For Paul Blake Jr., ho rarely speaks publicly, the court decision must offer some consolation. He has long claimed that his Uncle Jack posted him a letter the day before he died in which the famous author wrote, “I’ve turned over my entire estate to Memere (Mummy), and if she dies before me, it is then turned over to you, and if I die thereafter, it all goes to you.” Kerouac’s letter said he wished to leave it “to someone directly connected with the last remaining drop of my direct blood line … and not to leave a dang blasted, fucking thing to my wife’s one hundred Greek relatives … just telling you the facts of how it is.” The letter, dated October 20, 1969, and addressed to “My little Paul,” also declares that Kerouac was intending to divorce his wife (indeed, he had already begun divorce proceedings) and concludes, “I want you to know that even if you’re a crazy nut, you can do anything you want with my property if I kick the bucket, because we’re of the same blood.”

Blake, who was desperate for money, sold that letter to art dealer Alan Horowitz in order to make ends meet. Horowitz then sold the letter to the New York Public Library, where it remains to this day in the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature. The Sampas family insisted the letter itself was a forgery, and Gabrielle’s will remained unchallenged for more than two decades. In 1994, after Jan Kerouac first noticed the misspelling on Gabrielle’s will, she then took a trip to Florida to interview the surviving witness to the will and filed a lawsuit. Blake was missing at that time and so he could not join her. Before the case made it to court, Jan died from kidney failure in 1996.

Following Jan’s death, Blake was the only known surviving Kerouac blood relative. He pressed forward with the forgery case. During this time, Blake was in a bad way, often homeless, struggling with alcoholism and poverty. This meant that his lawyer, Bill Wagner, later joined by his son Alan, were not only at the forefront of an extensive probate battle, but for a great deal of this time they were unable to even locate their client. Despite these obstacles, the ruling in July 2009 by Judge George W. Greer in the sixth Judicial Circuit Court in Tampa, Florida declared that the original will was not signed by Gabrielle Kerouac, and was therefore a forgery.

Greer, in an eleven-page statement, stressed “Gabrielle Kerouac was not a well woman when her purported will was signed; she could only move her hand and scribble her name. She would have lacked coordination to affix that signature.” This raises the question: who forged the document, and why? Greer refused to explore that possibility, stating that the Court was not required to determine whose signature it was, but “It is enough that Gabrielle Kerouac did not herself sign it.” According to John Sampas, though, “Judge Greer based his decision on fiction; his hearing was a charade, a kangaroo court.”

Given the July 2009 decision, it may seem surprising that so few of Jack Kerouac’s Beat Generation friends and acquaintances advocated for a closer look at Gabrielle’s will. Dadait poet and friend of Jan Kerouac, Carl Macki, explained that as Jan became more passionate and determined to proceed with her legal case, she had also “grown increasingly defiant towards the Sampas family and those close friends of her father who betrayed her in the struggle over the will of her grandmother.” In fact, as Jan was preparing her case against the Sampas family in the early 1990s, Allen Ginsberg told the writer Aram Saroyan that Jan’s appeal was fruitless, that he personally had spent “several days researching” the charges and found no basis in Jan’s opposition. This view was backed up by the majority of the Beats, with the exception of the poet Gregory Corso, who was one of the few who signed a petition to enable Jan to speak at a Kerouac conference in New York in 1995.  As it turned out, she wasn’t granted permission and was thrown out of the conference when she approached the microphone to say a few words about the value of preserving her father’s original papers.

Some Kerouac scholars attribute this to the power and influence of the Sampas family, who have watched the value of the Kerouac estate increase exponentially. Brenda Knight, author of Women of the Beat Generation, said she believes that many of Jack Kerouac’s friends “were worried about getting ‘blacklisted’ in an unofficial way.” The Sampas family owned “one of the most valuable literary estates in the world,” she said, and could be a powerful force that a less commercially successful writer or poet might not want to provoke.

Perhaps many of these writers were afraid to align themselves with the daughter of Jack Kerouac, especially when he himself had only seen his daughter twice in his life. Nicosia recalled specific examples of inaccurate stories he believed were “placed by the Sampas family,” including a story in the Boston Herald about Jan being an “illegitimate daughter.”

Sampas, however, believes he has been mischaracterized. In a previously published interview, he said, “I’m a nobody. They make me out to be some powerful Mafia character. I’m just Jack Kerouac’s brother-in-law.” More recently, he reacted to Nicosia’s claims by retorting “Nicosia is a well known ‘nut case’ who has been stalking the Kerouac estate for years.”

One can only guess at how things might have evolved had the will not been forged, but it’s likely that Jan would have had money to treat her health problems, and Blake might have avoided homelessness and poverty. Before the forgery verdict, Blake himself couldn’t understand why his beloved grandmother Gabrielle wouldn’t have provided for him in her will. At the very least, Blake thought he would have received a baseball card game his uncle made, which they often played together. The Sampas family have repeatedly said they would have gladly helped Blake with money if he had asked them directly instead of pressing ahead with Jan Kerouac’s court case.

For sure, there was a lot of money to go around. In the early nineties when John Sampas took over the estate from Stella, he enlisted the help of Massachusetts bookshop owner Jeffrey Weinberg to value Kerouac memorabilia, including letters, signed editions, and drafts. According to Weinberg, Sampas told him, “I want to turn some of this stuff into cash.” And they did. To the consternation of some Kerouac fans, at the height of Kerouac’s popularity, actor Johnny Depp dropped more than $40,000 on various Kerouac items, including a trench coat, a hat, and a suitcase when he visited the Kerouac estate. Then, in 2001, the Sampas family sold the original scroll of what many consider Kerouac’s masterpiece, On The Road, to James Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, for $2.43 million.

The sell-off to private collectors explains why some scholars and fans have negative feelings about the Sampas family. Nancy Grace, author of Jack Kerouac and the Literary Imagination (2007), said, “Many Kerouac scholars have long thought that John Sampas was milking the estate for every penny he could get and that he didn’t care about genuine scholarship at all, or Kerouac for that matter.”

Even more frustrating for scholars has been the loss or lack of access to several items, such as the original scroll of On The Road—which has been shipped around the world in a locked glass case—or any complete draft of The Dharma Bums, Big Sur, and Vanity of Duluoz, all of which have either been sold to private collectors or remain unaccounted for. Ann Charters, author of the first biography of Kerouac, explained, “I don’t think Kerouac’s unpublished papers should be sold off to private collectors; they should be made available to scholars ASAP.” She added that his “nonconformist style of writing his fictional autobiography makes it imperative for scholars to have access to the ‘first draft’ manuscripts.”

None of the items listed above appear in the Berg Collection at NYPL, which purchased close to 2,000 Kerouac documents from John Sampas for an undisclosed sum in 2001. Kerouac scholars say the Berg Collection, while deeply impressive, has some major gaps. There is nothing at all on Big Sur, and the original On the Road is, well, on the road. However, Isaac Gewirtz, curator of the Berg Collection, claimed, “98% of what survives of his writing, not including correspondence, is here and is available for study.” (An exhibition of the Jack Kerouac Archive ran from November 2007 to March 2008, and an illustrated exhibition catalogue showing the breadth of the materials is available.)

What exactly remains of the Kerouac estate is a closely guarded secret.  Apparently, the Sampas family keeps the archive in a bank vault, available only to hand-picked scholars and biographers such as Douglas Brinkley, author of the unfinished and unpublished official Jack Kerouac biography, which was cancelled by Penguin after Brinkley failed to deliver the book in time for the 50th anniversary of On The Road. Rumors circulated following Penguin’s decision to cancel the book that Sampas planned to write the official biography himself. When questioned about it, Sampas declared that of all the Kerouac biographies available, “none are of any quality.”

The recent court decision seems favorable for Blake, who currently lives in a small cabin in Arizona with his family. His lawyers, Bill and Alan Wagner, aren’t convinced. Alan Wagner confessed, “What happens next is uncertain,” adding that it might still be quite some time before Blake sees any money from the estate, if at all. The Wagners are veteran Tampa attorneys who specialize in personal injury cases; they are not Kerouac fans, had never read his books, and claimed they had to research him before they agreed to take the case. Sampas has dismissed Bill Wagner as “corrupt.”

The Sampas family has already launched a number of appeals. In a recent email, Sampas wrote, “We did not inherit from Gabrielle’s will, we inherited from Stella’s will; no one has a legal claim against me.” He also made a brief statement to recapitulate a 2004 court ruling based on Florida inheritance law that “bars Mr. Blake from seeking any assets or items which came to us through Stella Sampas Kerouac’s estate; the practical effect of this ruling appears to be none.” In short, there is no turning back the clock and reclaiming assets for what has already been sold.

The royalties from Kerouac’s books—which generate a good income—continue to go to the Sampas family. On The Road alone sells upward of 60,000 copies a year. The Wagners are seeking to challenge the state inheritance law with federal copyright law in an attempt to obtain a fair share of the royalties for Blake.

Legal experts predict Blake may be entitled to a third of what is left of the Kerouac estate, but fighting the loopholes in the convoluted legal documentation and fighting the Sampas’ may prove a lengthy and difficult process. Alan Wagner explained, “It is not known what happened to all of Jack Kerouac’s assets and how they were distributed or transferred. All efforts to date to learn that information have been resisted by the Sampas’. ”  He further detailed their ongoing attempt to get the current Kerouac estate valued independently before planning their next move, stressing that “Paul has said he doesn’t expect to get any money, but merely wants to set the record straight.”

It’s possible the Sampas family have very few assets left from the vast estate they inherited. “They sold hundreds, probably thousands of pieces, of Kerouac’s archives to collectors all over the world. We’ll never see most of that stuff,” Nicosia said. And if it is true that the Berg Collection has 98% of Kerouac’s writing, Blake would be lucky to see even a handful of his uncle’s papers.

Blake enjoyed a close relationship with his famous uncle. From all accounts, he isn’t searching for fame or fortune. As his lawyer put it, “Paul Blake is a very private person, but I can tell you that having spoken to him after the decision (that the original will was a forgery),he was very happy about it and pleased with the court’s findings.” Nicosia also spoke to Blake on the phone the day after the decision. He said Blake told him, “When I heard the news, I felt good for the first time in years.”

More Article at http://www.finebooksmagazine.com

Radio Interview about Mortgage Crisis And Handwriting Experts

The U.S. real estate market is in a downward spiral of foreclosures, fraud and government bailouts.  This is affecting economies across the world, and it’s affecting individuals in the business of forensic document examination.  How it affects us is the topic of today’s interview.  Today I interviewed a man named Steve Vondren, who is an attorney specializing in real estate law and foreclosures.  Well, actually he interviewed me on his internet radio show.  If you’re in real estate or the handwriting business or just curious about the foreclosure mess and the fraud factories popping up around America, listen to this show.  There are a lot of facts, a lot of figures, and a lot of exact names of companies which actually committed fraud in the tune of billions of dollars by creating falsified documents, loan transfer documents, trust deeds, and simply forging people’s names.  It’s a fascinating interview which you will enjoy whether you are in the forensic documents exam business, a real estate investor or simply own a house with a mortgage.

In the current foreclosure environment, lenders and loan servicers are still hoping to keep a lid on the false signatures, notary fraud, and other foreclosure-gate issues. They are hoping no one will challenge false signatures. Well, our guest Bart Baggett, a forensic document examiner, will discuss what’s going on in the real estate industry.

Listen to internet radio with AttorneySteve on Blog Talk Radio

Couple Says Dealership Forged Their Signatures

You know, forgery is in the news all the time, but this article is different because it involves one of our graduates from the International School.

Wendy Carlson

Wendy Carlson was hired to analyze the handwriting of some signatures involved in a dealership scandal in the town of Littleton, Colorado where some  signatures were forged.  At least that was Wendy’s conclusion.  You might enjoy this article that came in the news on Channel 7 on their web site.

DENVER — A Littleton couple said a local Dodge dealership forged their signatures on legal documents.

Reporters with 7NEWS have learned that the Golden Police Department has launched a criminal fraud investigation.

In November of 2010, Josh and Marlina Bello purchased two cars from Christopher’s Dodge World in Golden.

“There were red flags from the very beginning,” said Marlina Bello.

Mrs. Bello said that when she went to make the first payment on the car, she was told she owed more than what was agreed upon. She said the interest rate had increased from 13 % to 18%, which raised their bill by $13 a month.

“Thirteen dollars doesn’t seem like much, but the difference in interest is almost $3,000,” said Mr. that Bello.

The Bellos said they approached the dealership and explained their signatures had been forged.

“They were totally trying to get rid of us; they kept saying, ‘What do we have to do, what do we have to do?'” 

In order to get out of what they called a fraudulent contract, the Bello’s said the dealership made them purchase two other cars in exchange for them buying back the two cars on the first contract.

“We sat down with the finance manager and the general sales manager and told them, ‘You guys really messed up; this is a forged signature. We did not sign this.”  Never once did they say “that’s your signature,'” said Marlina.

That’s the same answer 7NEWS reporter Dayle Cedars got when she called and spoke to the general manager and human resource manager at the dealership. No one ever denied forging the signatures.

Art Irwin, the human relations manager, said the salesman and sales manager involved in the transaction no longer work at Christopher’s Dodge World. Irwin said the two men were not fired and did not leave because of this incident.

Reporters with 7NEWS took the signatures to forensic expert Wendy Carlson. After reviewing the signatures as well as other signatures from Josh and Marlina Bello, Carlson said, “Someone did indeed forge Josh and Marlina’s” signatures. I am willing to testify to this fact in a court of law and I will prove to the court that my opinion is fact,” said Carlson.

Reporters with 7NEWS approached Irwin with the results from Carlson, but he refused to comment. Irwin said owner Chris Hall did not want anyone to speak to the media concerning this incident. Hall refused to talk as well.

The dealership said that as far as they are concerned, this deal is done because the suspected forged contract is now void sincee the Bellos bought two different cars to get out of it.

A spokesman for the Golden Police Department said the fraud investigation should be completed soon.

The bank that financed the original two cars the Bellos purchased has issued the couple a fraud packet in order to launch its own investigation. And the Colorado Dealers Board — which regulates auto dealerships — has also received a complaint about this case.

More Articles here : http://www.thedenverchannel.com

Lawyer commits forgery too!

I came across this article in a Las Vegas Newspaper, and it just reminds me of all the times in my career that I’ve seen notaries and attorneys involved in fraudulent documents.

This case is about an attorney who intentionally stole $200,000 from someone’s estate who trusted him to manage it  after he died.  Can you imagine trusting someone to manage your estate, and then your children have to fight the attorney who has the money to get the estate?

If you read the article, it goes on to say that this client was not the first victim. There have been 30 or  40.  In fact, before you hire an attorney, you might want to check with the state bar association.  Back in 2000 this guy had to sign an agreement not to provide legal services in divorce, personal injury, immigration and bankruptcy.  Can you believe it?  They still let him practice and handle probate cases despite the fact they knew he was probably a thief.

Disbarred lawyer Charles Radosevich of Las Vegas pleaded guilty in a criminal case charging him with forging court documents and stealing more than $200,000 from people who hired him for legal services.

Radosevich, 67, who is being held at the Clark County Detention Center on no bail, pleaded guilty to one count of theft and one count of forgery. District Judge David Barker set a date for the sentencing.

The charges, which involve the theft of $90,900 from an estate case, draw a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine for the theft count, four years in prison, and a $5,000 fine on the forgery.

Radosevich was charged with stealing a total of $140,000 from the estate of the mother of Darlene Lonzaga and her brother, Jimmy Montgomery. Radosevich was accused of circulating a phony court document with the forged signature of District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez in an effort to swindle the brother and sister out of the estate money.

Ten other felony charges are being dismissed , according to the agreement .

But Radosevich agreed to pay restitution to all of his victims, including those named in the charges being dismissed.

One of those victims, Southern California real estate agent Michelle Geris, ended up being arrested blocks from her home in August 2009 after Radosevich was accused of having pocketed $53,000 she gave him to pay off a gambling debt to Green Valley Ranch Station.

Radosevich was supposed to give the money to the District Attorney’s Bad Check Unit, which planned to turn it over to Green Valley Ranch and then dismiss the criminal debt case against Geris. But when the Bad Check Unit did not receive the $53,000, it obtained a warrant for her arrest. That case is on hold as a result of Radosevich’s criminal troubles, and Geris is suing Radosevich in District Court.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Mike Staudaher said Wednesday he believes Radosevich left about 30 victims in his wake.

As part of his deal with prosecutors, Radosevich agreed to plead guilty to separate misdemeanor charges of obtaining money under false pretenses and unlawfully practicing law. He also agreed to plead guilty to two more felony theft charges and one felony count of obtaining money under false pretenses in a new case Staudaher plans to file this week.

Radosevich fled Las Vegas in September on the eve of his trial, but was captured in Phoenix after he stepped off a flight from Costa Rica and returned to Las Vegas.

Prosecutors have alleged that Radosevich, disbarred in Colorado and Nebraska, was forging documents and stealing money from clients even after being charged in his current case.

At the request of the Nevada State Bar, prosecutors filed criminal charges against Radosevich in October 2009 and added new charges in April 2010  after learning of more victims.

The State Bar has kept tabs on Radosevich since 2000, when it got him to sign an agreement promising, among other things, not to provide legal services in divorce, personal injury, immigration and bankruptcy cases.

More Article and News here : http://www.lvrj.comhttp://www.thesmokinggun.com/file/last-will-michael-joseph-jackson

2005 copyright symbol spoils $254,000 Clintonville scam

I love this story about a Clintonville woman who is now facing jail time for forgery and perjury.

It is a short article, but it reminds me of an actual true situation where I was inspecting the last will and testament of a person who had passed away.  The will was in the L.A. County Courthouse.  I was down there with my microscope and magnifying glass inspecting the will, and attached to the purported last will and testament was a notarized document with the copyright date of 2004.

It even had the website they downloaded the notary form from.  That did not jive with the fact that the signatures were all signed and notarized in 1999.  Now you don’t have to be a time traveler to understand that it’s not possible to sign a document that didn’t exist until six years later.  That’s what this article is saying.

So the moral of the story is if you’re going to forge a document, submit it to the court, and you’re going to sue somebody for $254,000 saying that they signed a promissory note, you should at least white out the copyright on the forms.

The point of the story is very simple.  As a handwriting expert you are also a document examiner.  In fact, you’re primarily a document examiner and secondly a handwriting expert.  As a document examiner you better notice the copyright, you better notice the staple holes, and you better be able to tell whether or not a document is a color photocopy or an original.  That’s your job.  Enjoy the article.

APPLETON — A Clintonville woman accused of forging documents that led to a $254,000 civil lawsuit will soon enter pleas to counts of forgery and lying while under oath.

Tammy M. Lowney, 41, waived her right to the remainder of her preliminary hearing Wednesday in Outagamie County Court on three forgery counts and two counts related to false testimony.

Attorneys started the hearing last month, but rescheduled due to time constraints.

The case stems from a 2006 Waupaca County lawsuit filed by the owners of Friendship Valley Dairy, Christopher and Mary Therese Gilling of Marion. The Gillings sued Steven and Malia Lowney, claiming the couple owed them the money as documented in 1999 and 2000 promissory notes carrying their signatures.

Appleton police Detective Neal Rabas testified last month to a copyright date of 2005 found on the forms used in creation of the notes. It didn’t jive with the contents of the contracts.

“The first note was signed in 1999,” Rabas said. “The second note was dated 2000.”

The Lowneys filed a counter suit in Outagamie County against the dairy company, the Gillings and Tammy Lowney, among others, claiming “a systematic campaign to destroy the Lowneys emotionally and to ruin them financially.”

Both civil cases have since been dismissed.

The false swearing charges against Tammy Lowney relate to testimony about the promissory notes she gave during depositions in one of the civil cases. Steven Lowney said his sister-in-law claimed the notes were authentic when she testified in the civil case.

Each of the five counts against her carries a maximum penalty of six years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Read more: http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20110210/APC0101/102100561/Clintonville-woman-faces-multiple-forgery-charges#ixzz1EGr9YUio

More articles here: http://www.postcrescent.com

Australian Junior Rugby League loses $88,837 from forger… season must go on

An Australian woman steals $88,837.00 from a junior rugby league.

Listen, forgery happens all over the world.  It always amazes me; some people with a chance to steal money will steal money even from a bunch of kids playing rugby.

In this case, this is from the State of Queensland in Australia and the former McKay Junior Rugby League treasurer, Jody Sainsbury, was jailed and pending sentences for stealing more than $160,000.00.

She actually tendered a check and returned $88,000.00 of it, but she still faces charges, but as in good sportsmanship the game must go on.  No matter where you are in the world, their are people who forge signatures but there are also forgery experts that will help you.

JODY Sainsbury stole more than $160,000 from the Mackay Junior Rugby League and the Hastings Deering social club at Paget.

And when she faced the District Court in Mackay to be sentenced yesterday she was going to tender four allegedly-forged references.

So now she is under investigation for allegedly forging fake references.

Sainsbury pleaded guilty to two charges of dishonestly causing a loss to the Mackay Junior Rugby League and Hastings Deering between July 1, 2007, and December 1, 2008.

Crown prosecutor David Morters told the court that he had been provided on Thursday with copies of four references which Mrs Sainsbury’s barrister was going to tender in court.

One was said to be from her current employer, CQ Nurse, two were from representatives of Hastings Deering and there was another one from a representative of the Mackay State High School.

“I made some inquiries of at least one of the Hastings Deering representatives and it (the reference) was not made by the person who was purported to have made it,” Mr Morters said. “It appears there is no legitimacy for the references provided.”

Barrister Bronwyn Hartigan, for Sainsbury, tendered a bank cheque for $88,837 to repay the “balance of the amount owing” to the Mackay Junior Rugby League.

She then asked for the sentencing to be delayed.

Judge Stuart Durward, SC, remanded Sainsbury in custody for sentencing on a date to be set. Police are investigating the claims that Sainsbury’s references were forged.

During yesterday’s proceedings it was disclosed that the amount of money missing from the Hastings Deering social club was $83,707. Sainsbury was treasurer of the Mackay Junior Rugby League which held an emergency meeting in December 2009 to discuss the loss of funds from its bank accounts.

The MJRL had eight local clubs – Brothers Bulldogs, North Mackay Magpies, Proserpine, Northern Suburbs, Sarina, Southern Suburbs, Walkerston and Western Suburbs.

Despite the loss of funds, the MJRL season went ahead in 2010.

More articles @ http://www.dailymercury.com.au

Will Forger Gets One Year in Jail, Probation

When your girlfriend dies in a tragic mass murder the first thing you do is not to fake a will and take her entire estate, but that’s what Edgar Bloomfield of Santa Barbara County, California did.

Bloomfield forges the will and takes the $750,000.00 his girlfriend had and named it to him which was a very bad did.  This is unusual in the fact that when it all played out he actually spent time in jail because they decided to prosecute him on the criminal courts so he had to face two courts, the probate court, which is where the handwriting expert was called in to look at the will and testament; this is where you come in and I found that probate courts are very fair which means when they get a handwriting expert they’ll let you have access to the will and you can microscope, and  bring your magnifying glass, you can take pictures of it and can actually touch and feel the original will and  makes a good decision on that because they really do want to get it right.

And in this case, they did get it right but you’ll also notice that if you read the full article Edward Bloomfield actually had two witnesses to the crime and they actually had to plead guilty for forgery, conspiracy and perjury, because his sister, Jeannie Bloomfield, and two acquaintances, Lena Star and Heidi Hodges signed as witnesses.

So he had four people lying under oath to steal this dead woman’s money and her family had already suffered a tragic loss in a mass murder.  I tell you, when there is a big estate involved, there are no doubts to the scummy actions of unscrupulous people and as a handery expert you’ll see it all. Enjoy this article.

More than three years after he produced a forged will after his girlfriend was fatally shot,Edward Blomfield – who pled guilty to the crime – was sentenced Tuesday. He will serve one year in Santa Barbara County Jail and five years of felony probation. Judge Brian Hill also granted District Attorney Mary Barron two additional requests: that Blomfield not be allowed to act in a fiduciary capacity for anyone and that any current or future employers know of his psychiatric condition.

Authorities claim Blomfield forged the will of Beverly Graham after she was shot and killed in her apartment by Jennifer San Marcojust before San Marco went on a shooting spree at the Goleta U.S.Postal Service distribution center in January 2006, killing six others and then herself. The forged will left Graham’s entire estate, estimated to be worth $750,000, to Blomfield.

Less than a month after Graham’s death, Blomfield produced the will, which Graham’s family immediately contested in probate court. As the result of a complicated civil suit, in which a forensic examiner determined the will was forged, Blomfield was ordered to pay $340,000 in restitution to the Graham family and indicted in criminal court for burglary, financial elder abuse, forgery, conspiracy, and two counts of perjury. Blomfield pled guilty to all charges.

His final sentencing was pending almost a year, in part because Blomfield underwent a competency test, a several months-long process during which psychiatrists reviewed his mental state and determined that he was competent to be sentenced. At the request of Blomfield’s defense attorney, Steve Balash, Judge Hill exonerated the $25,000 bail and reduced Blomfield’s restitution fines from $10,000 to $1,000. Barron said she recognized that the court had already made a decision on Blomfield’s sentence but stated, “It does not seem fair or just that he should be able to buy his way out.” Although Hill granted two of Barron’s requests, he denied a third, that Blomfield not be able to serve as caretaker for the elderly or disabled, noting that this was a financial crime.

In his final comments, Hill said that although Blomfield’s crime was serious, being premeditated and done without due regard to other people in the descendant’s life and therefore deserving of a felony, it was not a horrific crime. He said Blomfield’s crime was deserving of the year in

County Jail, and the man could face up to 10 years in state prison if he violates any terms of his probation. Noting that because there was no indication Blomfield ever engaged in similar actions and had no prior criminal history, Hill said there was not a strong argument for a state prison sentence.

Blomfield’s sister, Jeanne Blomfield, as well as two acquaintances,Lenae Stahr and Heidi Hodges, signed as witnesses on the forged will and had previously pled guilty to will forgery, conspiracy, and perjury.

More news and articles @ http://www.independent.com