Forgery - Accounting Fraud

A definition of forgery

Forgery basically involves the act of adapting, making or imitating documents, objects or statistics with
the intent to deceive. Forgery can be performed on quite a number of items that we use on a day to day
basis. It should be noted that the underlying factor when it comes to forgery is the intent to deceive.
Some people confuse forgery to counterfeiting but there is actually a difference between the two. The
development of fake money is commonly known as counterfeiting and should not be mistaken with forgery. On the other hand, making a replica of something like a painting falls under forgery.

Another way to understand forgery is by looking at the example of checks. Banks have been known to
receive a number of cases of check forgeries and some of them are usually so good that the band itself
is not able to tell the difference and they end up making the payment. This is only after the come to
realize much later that the payment was not approved by the holder of the account. Check forgeries will
basically depend on how good the falsified signature is. If the forger is good, the bank may not be able
to detect any anomaly and they will approve the payout.

How forgery is done

As earlier mentioned, forgery involves the act of coming up with something similar to the original, but
has not been approved by its initial creator. Take for instance the example of a check. The forgers will
try and come up with a signature that is similar to the owner of the bank account that they would like
to receive payments from. In some cases where the signature is complex, fraudsters have been known
to use an already existing check and they only alter the date and amount and present it to a bank for
payment.

How forgers are caught

There are quite a number of ways in which one can be able to differentiate an original from a forgery.
Using the example of a check, a keen look at the signature will reveal any anomalies as the bank tellers
usually refer to the specimen signature that is in the banking system. Forgeries involving items such as
paintings can also be identified by professionals who specialize in this industry. The issue of detecting
forgery has actually been taken very seriously and there are already courses being provided to help in
the detection of such fraudulent actions.

The consequences of forgery

In most countries, any act of forgery is considered to be a criminal offence hence you can be sure that
the consequences are very severe. Most of the guilty forgers have been known to spend years in jail
while others were fined heavily for their fraudulent acts. However, the issue of fines is slowly being done away with as the authorities want to put such people behind bars so as to stop others from getting into the world of forgery. Fines are obviously quite lenient which is why most courts will award a jail term and a hefty fine to any body found guilty of forgery.

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