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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26800
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My fathers wife of 6 years forged his name to a huge amount

Customer Question

My father's wife of 6 years forged his name to a huge amount of checks on and before his death. She is stating she signed his name at his request. All of his accounts and assets were in his name only. In addition they had a pre-nup.
Is this a crime?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.

Hello Jacustomer,

It would be a crime for your father's widow to sign your father's name to his checks on and before his death if she did this without your father's permission and authority. You can report the offens to the police or just go to the DA's office with your complaint and whatever evidence you may have that will corroborate it.

The real problem here -- and I cannot tell how big a problem it is -- is that husbands and wives routinely allow each other to sign checks. In order to convict this person, the DA would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she had neither the permission nor the authority to write the checks she did during his last days. Because they were a married couple, the DA may feel that he or she would be unable to meet his burden of proof and feel for that reason, this may be better off taken care of in probate court or in civil court where the odds are much more favorable to you.

Without seeing exactly what you have and being able to investigate the evidence, I cannot tell you that the police and DA will turn the complaint away. I just want you to be aware that they could. Numerous crimes are committed every year that for whatever reason the state chooses not to prosecute. Generally it's because they think your better solution would be in civil rather than criminal proceedings.

So, report this to the police and tell them you would like to have charges pressed against her for theft and forgery. If the police tell you it's a civil matter, go over their heads to the DA's Office and perhaps you can convince them that the evidence is damaging enough so that it ought to be prosecuted. The DA does not have to listen to the police on the worth and weight of a case. It's the other way around.

Good luck!