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Forgery is a
white-collar crime The term "white-collar crime" refers to financially motivated, nonviolent or non directly violent crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern cr ...
that generally refers to the false making or material alteration of a
legal instrument ''Legal instrument'' is a legal Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environ ...
with the specific
intent Intentions are mental states A mental state, or a mental property, is a state of mind of a person. Mental states comprise a diverse class including perception, pain experience, belief, desire, intention, emotion, and memory. There is controversy co ...
to
defraud In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by i ...

defraud
anyone (other than themself). Tampering with a certain legal instrument may be forbidden by law in some jurisdictions but such an offense is not related to forgery unless the tampered legal instrument was actually used in the course of the crime to defraud another person or entity. Copies, studio replicas, and reproductions are not considered forgeries, though they may later become forgeries through knowing and willful
misrepresentation In common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions. ''Black's Law Dictionary' ...
s. Forging
money Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts, such as taxes, in a particular country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a ...

money
or
currency A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the most specific sense is money Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services ...

currency
is more often called
counterfeit To counterfeit means to imitate something authentic, with the intent to steal, destroy, or replace the original, for use in illegal transactions, or otherwise to deceive individuals into believing that the fake is of equal or greater value than ...
ing. But
consumer good A final good or consumer good is a final product ready for sale that is used by the consumer to satisfy current wants or needs, unlike intermediate goods which is utilized to produce other goods. A microwave oven or a bicycle is a final good, wher ...
s may also be ''counterfeits'' if they are not manufactured or produced by the designated manufacturer or producer given on the
label A label (as distinct from signage) is a piece of paper, plastic film, cloth, metal, or other material affixed to a Packaging and labelling, container or Product (business), product, on which is written or printing, printed information or symbo ...

label
or flagged by the
trademark A trademark (also written trade mark or trade-mark) is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also r ...

trademark
symbol. When the object forged is a record or document it is often called a
false document A false document is a technique by which an author aims to increase verisimilitude in a work of fiction by inventing and inserting or mentioning documents that appear to be factual. The goal of a false document is to convince an audience that wha ...
. This usage of "forgery" does not derive from
metalwork Metalworking is the process of shaping and reshaping metals to create useful objects, parts, assemblies, and large scale structures. As a term it covers a wide and diverse range of processes, skills, and tools for producing objects on every scale: ...
done at a blacksmith's
forge A forge is a type of hearth A hearth is the place in a home where a fire is or was traditionally kept for home heating and for cooking, usually constituted by at least a horizontal hearthstone and often enclosed to varying degrees by an ...

forge
, but it has a parallel history. A sense of "to
counterfeit To counterfeit means to imitate something authentic, with the intent to steal, destroy, or replace the original, for use in illegal transactions, or otherwise to deceive individuals into believing that the fake is of equal or greater value than ...
" is already in the Anglo-French verb ''forger'', meaning "falsify". A forgery is essentially concerned with a produced or altered object. Where the prime concern of a forgery is less focused on the object itself – what it is worth or what it "proves" – than on a tacit statement of criticism that is revealed by the reactions the object provokes in others, then the larger process is a
hoax A hoax is a falsehood deliberately fabricated to masquerade as the truth. It is distinguishable from errors in observation or judgment, rumor A rumour (British English), or rumor (American English; American and British English spelling diffe ...

hoax
. In a hoax, a
rumor A rumor (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States. Curren ...
or a genuine object planted in a concocted situation, may substitute for a forged physical object. The similar crime of
fraud In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by ...

fraud
is the crime of deceiving another, including through the use of objects obtained through forgery. Forgery is one of the techniques of fraud, including
identity theft Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, like their name, identifying number, or credit card number, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. The term ''identity theft'' was coi ...

identity theft
. Forgery is one of the threats addressed by
security engineering Security engineering is the process of incorporating security controls Security controls are safeguards or countermeasure A countermeasure is a measure or action taken to counter or offset another one. As a general concept it implies precisio ...
. In the 16th century, imitators of
Albrecht Dürer Albrecht Dürer (; ; 21 May 1471 – 6 April 1528),Müller, Peter O. (1993) ''Substantiv-Derivation in Den Schriften Albrecht Dürers'', Walter de Gruyter. . sometimes spelled in English as Durer or Duerer (without an umlaut), was a German pain ...

Albrecht Dürer
's style of printmaking improved the market for their own prints by signing them "AD", making them forgeries. In the 20th century the art market made forgeries highly profitable. There are widespread forgeries of especially valued artists, such as drawings originally by
Pablo Picasso Pablo Ruiz Picasso (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973) was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker 300px, Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', etching">Self-portrait.html" ;"title="Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait">Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', et ...

Pablo Picasso
,
Paul Klee Paul Klee (; 18 December 1879 – 29 June 1940) was a Swiss-born German artist. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. Klee was a natural draftsman who experimented wi ...

Paul Klee
, and
Henri Matisse Henri Émile Benoît Matisse (; 31 December 1869 – 3 November 1954) was a French artist, known for both his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a drawing, draughtsman, printmaking, printmaker, and sculpture, scul ...

Henri Matisse
. A special case of double forgery is the forging of
Vermeer Johannes Vermeer ( , , #Pronunciation of name, see below; also known as Jan Vermeer; October 1632 – December 1675) was a Dutch Baroque Period Painting, painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle class, middle-class life. Duri ...
's paintings by
Han van Meegeren#REDIRECT Han van Meegeren Henricus Antonius "Han" van Meegeren (; 10 October 1889 – 30 December 1947) was a Dutch painter and portraitist, considered one of the most ingenious Art forgery, art forgers of the 20th century. Van Meegeren became a n ...
, and in its turn the forging of Van Meegeren's work by his son
Jacques van Meegeren Jacques Henri Emil van Meegeren (26 August 1912 – 26 October 1977) was a Dutch illustrator and painter. He is also considered to be a forger of the work of his father, Han van Meegeren, convicted of forging old masters and fraud. He was, ...
.


Criminal law


England and Wales and Northern Ireland

In
England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows ...

England and Wales
and
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
, forgery is an offence under section 1 of the
Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 The Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 (c 45) is an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which makes it illegal to make fake versions of many things, including legal documents, contracts, audio and visual recordings, and ...
, which provides: "Instrument" is defined by section 8, "makes" and "false" by section 9, and "induce" and "prejudice" by section 10. Forgery is triable either way. A person guilty of forgery is liable, on conviction on
indictment An indictment ( ) is a criminal accusation A criminal accusation is the process of declaring one's belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psycholog ...
, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or, on
summary conviction Summary may refer to: * Abstract (summary) An abstract is a brief summary of a research article, thesis A thesis or dissertation (abbreviated diss.) is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree An academic ...
, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both. For offences akin to forgery, see English criminal law#Forgery, personation, and cheating. The
common law offence Common law offences are crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,Farmer, Lindsa ...
of forgery is abolished for all purposes not relating to offences committed before the commencement of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.


Scotland

Forgery is not an official offence under the law of Scotland, except in cases where statute provides otherwise. The Forgery of Foreign Bills Act 1803 was repealed in 2013.


Republic of Ireland

In the
Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland ('), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective id ...

Republic of Ireland
, forgery is an offence under section 25(1) of the
Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act, 2001 The Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act, 2001 (No. 50 of 2001) updates and consolidates the law relating to dishonesty Dishonesty is to act without honesty. It is used to describe a lack of probity, cheating, lying, or deliberately wit ...
which provides: A person guilty of forgery is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or to a fine, or to both. Any offence at common law of forgery is abolished. The abolition of a common law offence of forgery does not affect proceedings for any such offence committed before its abolition. Except as regards offences committed before the commencement of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act, 2001 and except where the context otherwise requires, without prejudice to section 65(4)(a) of that Act, references to forgery must be construed in accordance with the provisions of that Act.


Canada

Forgery is an offence under sections 366, 367 and 368 of the Canadian
Criminal Code A criminal code (or penal code) is a document that compiles all, or a significant amount of, a particular jurisdiction's criminal law Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It proscribes conduct perceived as threatening, ha ...
. The offence is a
hybrid offence A hybrid offence, dual offence, Crown option offence, dual procedure offence, offence triable either way, or wobbler is one of the special class offences in the common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, ...

hybrid offence
, subject to a maximum prison sentence of: * if tried : 6 months * if tried on indictment: 10 years


United States

Forgery is a crime in all jurisdictions within the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, both state and federal.''United States v. Hunt''
456 F.3d 1255
1260 (
10th Cir. The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (in case citation Case citation is a system used by legal professionals to identify past court case decisions, either in series of books called reporters or law reports, or in a neutra ...
2006) ("Historically, forgery was defined as the false making, with the intent to defraud, of a
document A document is a writing, written, drawing, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of nonfiction, non-fictional, as well as fictional, content. The word originates from the Latin ''Documentum'', whic ...
which is not what it purports to be, as distinct from a document which is genuine but nevertheless contains a term or representation known to be false.") (internal quotation marks omitted) (emphasis added); see generally, ("Forgery"); (counterfeiting and forgery-related federal offenses); ("Forgery or false use of passport").
Most states, including
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
, describe forgery as occurring when a person alters a written
document A document is a writing, written, drawing, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of nonfiction, non-fictional, as well as fictional, content. The word originates from the Latin ''Documentum'', whic ...

document
"with the intent to defraud, knowing that he or she has no authority to do so." The written document usually has to be an instrument of legal significance. Punishments for forgery vary widely. In California, forgery for an amount under $950 can result in misdemeanor charges and no jail time, while a forgery involving a loss of over $500,000 can result in three years in prison for the forgery plus a five-year "conduct enhancement" for the amount of the loss, yielding eight years in prison. In
Connecticut Connecticut () is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. As of the 2010 United States census, 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, second-highest level of List of U.S. states and territories by H ...
, forgery in the Third Degree, which is a class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 6 months in jail, a $1000 fine, and probation; forgery in the First Degree, which is a class C felony, is punishable by a maximum 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000 fine, or both.


Civil law

As to the effect, in the United Kingdom, of a forged signature on a bill of exchange, see section 24 of the
Bills of Exchange Act 1882 The Bills of Exchange Act 1882 is a United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the U ...
.


In popular culture

* The 1839 novel by
Honoré de Balzac Honoré de Balzac ( , more commonly , ; born Honoré Balzac;Jean-Louis Dega, La vie prodigieuse de Bernard-François Balssa, père d'Honoré de Balzac : Aux sources historiques de La Comédie humaine, Rodez, Subervie, 1998, 665 p. 20 May 1799& ...

Honoré de Balzac
, '' Pierre Grassou'', concerns an artist who lives off forgeries. * The
Orson Welles George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American director, actor, screenwriter, and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre and film. He is considered to be among the greatest and most in ...

Orson Welles
documentary ''
F for Fake ''F for Fake'' (french: link=no, Vérités et mensonges, "Truths and lies") is a 1973 docudrama film co-written, directed by, and starring Orson Welles George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American actor, directo ...
'' concerns both art and literary forgery. For the movie, Welles intercut footage of
Elmyr de Hory Elmyr de Hory (born Elemér Albert Hoffmann; April 14, 1906 – December 11, 1976) was a Hungarian-born painter and art forger, who is said to have sold over a thousand art forgeries to reputable art galleries all over the world. His forgeries g ...
, an art forger, and
Clifford Irving Clifford Michael Irving (November 5, 1930 – December 19, 2017) was an American novelist and investigative reporter. Although he published 20 novels, he is best known for an "autobiography An autobiography (from the Greek Greek may re ...
, who wrote an "authorized" autobiography of
Howard Hughes Howard Robard Hughes Jr. (December 24, 1905 – April 5, 1976) was an American business magnate, investor, record-setting pilot, engineer, film director, and Philanthropy, philanthropist, known during his lifetime as one of the most influential ...

Howard Hughes
that had been revealed to be a
hoax A hoax is a falsehood deliberately fabricated to masquerade as the truth. It is distinguishable from errors in observation or judgment, rumor A rumour (British English), or rumor (American English; American and British English spelling diffe ...

hoax
. While forgery is the ostensible subject of the film, it also concerns art, film making, storytelling and the creative process. * The 1966 heist comedy film ''
How to Steal a Million ''How to Steal a Million'' is a 1966 American heist comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ...
'' centers around Nicole Bonnet (
Audrey Hepburn Audrey Hepburn (born Audrey Kathleen Ruston; 4 May 1929 – 20 January 1993) was a British actress and humanitarian. Recognised as both a film and fashion icon, she was ranked by the American Film Institute The American Film Institute (AFI) ...

Audrey Hepburn
) attempting to steal a fake
Cellini Benvenuto Cellini (, ; 3 November 150013 February 1571) was an Italian goldsmith A goldsmith is a Metalworking, metalworker who specializes in working with gold and other precious metals. Nowadays they mainly specialize in jewellery-making b ...

Cellini
made by her grandfather. * The 1964 children's book
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ''Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'' is a 1964 children's novel by British author Roald Dahl. The story features the adventures of young Charlie Bucket inside the chocolate factory of eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka. ''Charlie and the Choc ...
written by
Roald Dahl Roald Dahl (13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) was a British novelist, short-story writer, poet, screenwriter, and wartime fighter pilot. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide. Dahl was born in Wales ...

Roald Dahl
revealed the "golden ticket" in Japan was a forgery. * The 1972 novel by
Irving Wallace Irving Wallace (March 19, 1916 – June 29, 1990) was an American best-selling author and screenwriter. He was known for his heavily researched novels, many with a sexual theme. Early life Wallace was born in Chicago, Illinois (''City in ...

Irving Wallace
, '' The Word'' concerns archaeological forgery, the finding and translation of a supposed lost
gospel Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel#REDIRECT The gospel In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Te ...

gospel
by
James the Just James the Just, or a variation of James, brother of the Lord ( la, Iacobus from he, יעקב ''Ya'akov'' and gr, Ἰάκωβος ''Iákōbos'', can also be Anglicized as " Jacob"), was a brother of Jesus, according to the New Testament ...
, close relative of
Jesus Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it i ...

Jesus Christ
, as part of a large project to be published as a new Bible that would inspire a Christian revival, but which is possibly a forged document. * The 2002 film ''
Catch Me If You Can ''Catch Me If You Can'' is a 2002 American biographical crime film Crime films, in the broadest sense, is a film genre inspired by and analogous to the crime fiction literary genre. Films of this genre generally involve various aspects of ...

Catch Me If You Can
'', directed by
Steven Spielberg Steven Allan Spielberg (; born December 18, 1946) is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. He began his career in the New Hollywood New Hollywood, sometimes referred to as the American New Wave or the Hollywood Renaissance, r ...

Steven Spielberg
, is based on the real story of
Frank Abagnale Frank William Abagnale Jr. (; born April 27, 1948) is an American security consultant known for his criminal life as a con man, check forger and impostor when he was 15 to 21 years old. By age 15, Abagnale had begun to con people and pass ba ...

Frank Abagnale
, a
con man A confidence trick is an attempt to defraud In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and ...
who stole over $2.5 million through forgery, imposture and other frauds, which are dramatized in the film. His career in crime lasted six years from 1963 to 1969. * The graphic art novel '' The Last Coiner'', authored by Peter M. Kershaw, is based on the exploits of the 18th century counterfeiters, the Cragg Vale Coiners, who were sentenced to execution by hanging at
Tyburn Tyburn was a manor Manor may refer to: Land tenure *Manor, the land belonging to the Lord of the manor under manorialism in parts of medieval Europe, notably England *Manor house, the main residence of the lord of the manor *Lord of the mano ...
.


See also

*
Art forgery Art forgery is the creating and selling of works of art which are falsely credited to other, usually more famous artists. Art forgery can be extremely lucrative, but modern dating and analysis techniques have made the identification of forged art ...
*
Authentication Authentication (from ''authentikos'', "real, genuine", from αὐθέντης ''authentes'', "author") is the act of proof (truth), proving an Logical assertion, assertion, such as the Digital identity, identity of a computer system user. In ...
* J. S. G. Boggs American artist *
Counterfeiting Office of Field Operations agent checking the Authentication, authenticity of a travel document at an international airport using a stereo microscope To counterfeit means to imitate something authentic, with the intent to steal, destroy, or rep ...
**
coins A coin is a small, flat, (usually, depending on the country or value) round piece of metal A metal (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hell ...
**
currency A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the most specific sense is money Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services ...
**
drugs A drug is any chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched ...

drugs
* Digital signature forgery **
watches A watch is a portable Clock, timepiece intended to be carried or worn by a person. It is designed to keep a consistent movement despite the motions caused by the person's activities. A wristwatch is designed to be worn around the wrist, attach ...
**
postage stamps A postage stamp is a small piece of paper issued by a post office, postal administration, or other authorized vendors to customers who pay postage (the cost involved in moving, insuring, or registering mail), who then affix the stamp to the fa ...
*
Epigraphy Epigraphy () is the study of inscriptions, or epigraphs, as writing Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the representation of a language with written symbols. Writing systems are not themselves human languages (with th ...
*
False document A false document is a technique by which an author aims to increase verisimilitude in a work of fiction by inventing and inserting or mentioning documents that appear to be factual. The goal of a false document is to convince an audience that wha ...
*
Phishing Phishing is a type of social engineering where an attacker sends a fraudulent (e.g., spoofed, fake, or otherwise deceptive) message designed to trick a human victim into revealing sensitive information Information sensitivity is the control ...

Phishing
*
Questioned document examination In forensic science, questioned document examination (QDE) is the examination of document A document is a writing, written, drawing, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of nonfiction, non-fiction ...
*
Replica A replica is an exact copy, such as of a painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a substrate in a thin layer, converts t ...

Replica
*
Signature forgery Signature forgery refers to the act of falsely replicating another person's signature 's signature is the most prominent on the United States Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. The name "John Hancock" or just "Hanc ...
*
United States Secret Service The United States Secret Service (USSS or Secret Service) is a Federal law enforcement in the United States, federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Homeland Security, Department of Homeland Security charged with con ...
*
White-collar crime The term "white-collar crime" refers to financially motivated, nonviolent or non directly violent crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern cr ...


References


Sources

* Cohon, Robert. ''Discovery & Deceit: archaeology & the forger's craft'' Kansas: Nelson-Atkins Museum, 1996 * Muscarella, Oscar. ''The Lie Became Great: the forgery of Ancient Near Eastern cultures,'' 2000
"Imaginary Images" in ''Detecting the Truth: Fakes, Forgeries and Trickery''
at Library and Archives Canada


External links





* ttp://traffickingculture.org/encyclopedia/terminology/fakes-2/ Fakes and Forgerieson the Trafficking Culture website, University of Glasgow
Academic Classification of Levels of Forgery
on The Authentication in Art Foundation Website
List of Caught Art Forgers
on The Authentication in Art Foundation Website {{Authority control Crime Deception Espionage techniques Illegal occupations Organized crime activity Art and culture law