13VSA2001 False Personation – pretending to be someone else to get money/goods/other
One of the easiest ways to falsely personate another would be easily carried out by an identical twin or a sibling who was very close in age and closely resembled their sibling. A twin could obtain a copy of the other’s birth certificate and Social Security card, then go to Motor Vehicles to get a driver’s license in the twin’s name. After having proper identification, the twin who wanted to impersonate his or her sibling can simply go to the bank and clean out the other’s bank accounts. A sibling who was not a twin but who was very close in age to another could more than likely do the exact same thing.
Friends who may resemble each other physically and also know a lot of details about each other’s lives might take the opportunity to assume the other’s identity. Once again, it merely begins with obtaining a copy of a birth certificate. Most states only ask for the names of the parents, date of birth, and place of birth to issue a certified copy of a birth certificate. Once a birth certificate is in hand, it is easy to get other identification in that person’s name. Then all it would take is to go into the bank and remove money from the other person’s account.
Sometimes false personation can be accomplished by merely stealing the other person’s identification and then posing as that person. With the correct identification in hand, and with the poor quality of pictures on so many driver’s licenses, a close resemblance would be all that is required to pose as another person.
13VSA2002 False Pretense – using lies and deceit to get money/goods/value
The easiest way to use lies and deceit to get money would be to apply for a credit card in another person’s name. It doesn’t even require going into a bank. As long as the person committing the fraud knows enough information about the other person, applying for a credit card normally only requires either a paper application or an online application.
Assuming another person’s identity to obtain money or goods would also be considered using lies and deceit under this statute. Assuming someone else’s identity requires lying and forging the other person’s signature as well, also covered under this statute.
There have been many documented incidents in which a person panhandles, holding up a sign claiming to be homeless, in order to prey upon other peoples’ charitable feelings. This can also be classified as using lies and deceit in order to get money, goods, or something else of value.
13VSA1801 Forgery – making false documents/signatures to get money/goods/value
Using forgery to make false documents or forging signatures to get money or goods can be done in a multitude of ways. The first way is to forge somebody’s signature to request a copy of a birth certificate in order to use that birth certificate to obtain other identification in another person’s name. Then, forging someone else’s name in order to access their accounts and take their money is another way.
Many times, people will forge another person’s will in order to receive money or goods that the deceased did not mean for that individual to have. Forging a will can require already having identification in that other person’s name. However, forging a will might only require a decent counterfeit of the other person’s handwriting. Some states accept a handwritten will without requiring any witnesses to that will.
Obtaining blank checks from another person and then forging that person’s signature in order to obtain money is another way that would be covered under this statute. So would forging somebody’s signature on a Do Not Resuscitate Order. Forging a signature on a deed in order to get control over real property is another crime that would be covered under this statute.
Altering any document, deed, check, etc. is also considered forgery. For example, if a check is written for twenty dollars and it is altered in some way so it reads two hundred dollars, that is a forgery. There is a method used that “washes” the checks, which erases what is already written and replaces it with what the forger wants the check to say. Cashing an altered check using fake ID is forgery and false personation.
13VSA2531 Embezzlement – redirecting company money to personal gain
Embezzlement is probably the easiest way to commit fraud. A person can work for a company and steal, or embezzle, funds from the business to his or her own personal account. A person who has access to accounts or blank checks of a company can easily divert funds. Deposits, especially if they are cash, can be shorted. Accountants can make false entries into the books, allowing that person to steal money.
Bookkeepers can also set up fake accounts as well as create fake bills that the company would be required to pay. Depending on the size of the company, an accountant can also generate fake employee profiles and set up payroll for those fake accounts. Then other conspirators can also be utilized with fake identification for those fake accounts, and cash those payroll checks.
Bank employees, whether they are working as tellers or as managers, also have many opportunities for embezzlement. If someone makes a cash deposit and doesn’t count the money correctly, and there is more money than indicated on the deposit slip, the teller can simply just keep the overage and not inform the customer. Tellers can also not enter charges for money orders or bank checks into their tills and keep that money as well.
Bank managers and loan officers have opportunities to create loans under fake names in order to embezzle funds. This would require the creation of fake documents, such as driver’s licenses and other proof of identity, to be placed in the file. Then the bank officer can merely cash the check for a loan at another bank under another identity.