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Criminal law. The fraudulent making of a false writing that has apparent legal significance, or the making of a false writing with the intent to defraud. The act of fraudulently altering, authenticating, issuing, or transferring a writing without appropriate authorization.


The prima facie case is as follows: 1) A writing of such a nature that it is possible to be the subject of forgery. 2) The writing is false. 3) The false writing was made with the intent to defraud. Forgery at common law has been held to be 'the fraudulent making and alteration of a writing to the prejudice of another man's right.' By a more modern writer, it is defined, as ' a false making; a making malo animo, of any written instrument, for the purpose of fraud and deceit.'


 - (Real Estate) The forged signature of the grantor will not pass title regardless of recording or lack of knowledge by the grantee or future grantees. Title insurance will insure against forgery. This offense at common law is of the degree of a misdemeanor.


There are many kinds of forgery, especially subjected to punishment by statutes enacted by the national and state legislatures.

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