Forensic Document Examination
Determining the authenticity of a document and identifying the writer are two examples where a forensic document examination may be required. Fraud and embezzlement are a multi-billion dollar industry from which companies need to protec themselves. Since 1979, Ruth Holmes has worked for police departments, private investigators, attorneys, corporations and individuals all over the world.To request document examination, please complete the Questioned Document form and follow the procedures below.
Procedure for Submitting Documents
Original documents are requested whenever possible.
If originals are unavailable, we propose the following:
- First generation copies of original documents
- Color copies with enlarged copies of questioned signatures
- Photographing of Documents (arranged by appointment)
Take care in the copying, handling and packaging of originals.
Be aware of:
of light and dark - darker copies are better.
- Edges of checks to avoid getting partial signatures
on copies or incomplete endorsement signatures.
- Staple holes, folds and creases.
Send original documents via registered mail or overnight delivery to insure a paper trail.
Make three copies of each original document and send to the document examiner.
- The original or color copies will be placed in a protective
portfolio or sleeve and ultimately returned to sender.
- One regular photocopy will become part of the permanent
- One regular photocopy will be used for the preparation
of composites for the purpose of comparison and identification.
- Keep at least one copy for your records.
Every case is unique and based on the questioned document, the type of exemplars needed for comparison purposes can change. For this reason, it is important to call our office prior to gathering documents for examination in order to be assured of sending the proper documentation and information.
The best request writing samples are those which are prepared from dictation in the exact wording of the questioned documents. It is useful when the signatures and/or writings are obtained on like forms using an instrument (ball point pen, felt tip pen or pencil) similar to that used on the original questioned documents.
Other suggestions include:
- Begin the request writing session by asking for completion
of the Request Writing Form.
- Whenever possible, using forms similar to the original
document, ask the writer to complete copies of these forms
fifteen times. If a similar form is unavailable, ask for
samples on white paper, 8.5" x 11." Provide
a signature line if needed.
- The writer should be given only one page at a time.
- Remove each sample from the sight of the writer as soon
as it is completed. Prevent the writer from seeing either
the original document in question or any copies.
- Signature or writing sample requests should be dictated
without information regarding spelling, punctuation, spacing,
capitalization or other identifying characteristics.
- Use a writing instrument comparable to the one used on
the questioned document.
- Ask writer to date and initial each sample page.
- Document Examiner should do the sample and number samples
- Person requesting sample should also date and initial
pages on the reverse side.
- Continue process until desired samples are obtained.