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“Computer Generated Forgeries” Are A Matter Of FACT, Not Opinion!

Folks, the forgery game has changed significantly due to advances in technology; especially when it comes to high-tech computer software programs. I hate to say it, but when it comes to the forged notes being presented in foreclosures cases throughout the U.S., the traditional “handwriting / document” examination will most often fail to detect the forgery. This is because the computer forgeries often look better than the actual originals.

People call us asking if we can “carbon date” the documents, or if we can detect variances in the actual signatures to prove the forgery. This is all unneccesary. The fact is, if the document has been altered with the use of a computer program, we can detect and reverse engineer the process.

We’ve actually had a client come to use with an “expert” document examiner’s opinion (an expert they themselves hired through counsel) stating that the note was actually the “original.” After an examination by Dr. Kelley, the document was an blatant computer generated forgery. This technology will stump the old fashioned “handwriting / document” examiner. This is because most are not adequately trained in computer science and these new technologies.

From the attached pleading filed in Malin v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. in Knoxville, Tennessee:

[Excerpt]

II. Issues

There exist computer programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and GIMP that have photographic processing software with a number of “tools” that can be used to generate or invent a copy of any particular document so it appears to be an original document. It is commercially available. It is not complicated science. What can be done in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, GIMP and other photographic processing software is well known and utilized. It simply is a matter of what can be done with the existing tools in the computer software program and what cannot be done. It is a matter of fact not opinion.

The issue in this case is if these photographic processing software “tools” were used in this case to generate or create a copy of plaintiffs’ promissory note to appear to be the original promissory note.

[excerpt]

Reliable Principles and Methods Dr. Kelley will opine the promissory note that defendant is asserting as the original is actually a fabrication that was generated by simply using photographic processing software, as is available in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and GIMP. It is not in any sense unreliable science. Dr. Kelley will simply show the jury what can be done and what cannot be done in the photographic processing software. First, it is a matter of fact and not opinion. Based upon the tools being used and how the tools were used, Dr. Kelley will point out only a human being can be involved in such a process. For instance: whether the document was printed on a laser printer can be determined easily without the services of a scientist. If a ” lighting effect” was used, then the question is: Is this “lighting effect” tool readily available in Photoshop or GIMP, etc. This is not a matter of science. It is a matter of fact.

[Excerpt]

Summary

Whether the document was printed on a laser printer can be determined easily without the services of a scientist. If a ” lighting effect” was used, then the question is: Is this “lighting effect” tool readily available in Photoshop, Adobe, GIMP, etc? This is not a matter of science . It is a matter of fact. The use of infra red and ultraviolet in document analysis is well established and accepted. It is used by the federal government, the banks and many others to determine if checks , money and other financial documents are real or just fabrications. This is well established practice of science.

response brief filed – Malin v Chase

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