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Is this considered fraud?

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(@Anonymous 1211)
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I have a family member who does notary. I needed to submit a document notarized and signed by my mother. My mother was sick so my cousin who is a notary public did notarize the document without my mothers signature. But before my mother could sign the document, my brother took a photocopy of it and submitted the document. Is this considered fraud? It was a genuine mistake. We have the original now with my moms signature.

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(@Anonymous 1191)
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Joined: 13 years ago

Whether it is fraud depends on the exact wording of your state's laws and how your state's courts have interpreted them, but the general idea is that fraud involves deceiving someone. If no one tried to deceive anyone, and no one was deceived, it probably wasn't fraud. Your state might or might not have regulations about how notaries are to perform their duties; notarizing a document and allowing it to leave the notary's possession before it was signed might be a violation of these regulations. It certainly is a violation of good practice.

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(@Anonymous 1186)
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I also do not know what State you are in "Jackrock", but this is wrong on so many levels. As a Notary Public, our job is to positively I.D. the individual, make sure the person signing the document is aware of what they are signing, personally appear before you and notarize their "signature". Whatever State you are in, this is wrong. Your cousin did not notarize your Mother's signature. Your Mother hadn't signed the document. Your Mother cannot sign the document "after" it has been notarized. Wherever your brother submitted the document, I can't imagine that it will be accepted without your Mother's signature.

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(@Anonymous 1193)
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Well it is MORE than fraud. It is also perjury (and a felony). He notarized an unsigned document. But the notarial act is either (a) swearing you saw the document signed (jurat) or (b) acknowledging the authenticity of an existing signature -- in both cases having received satisfactory evidence AND the oath of the signatory. That had not happened. So the notary perjured their sworn statement AND misrepresented. The mother could have decided not to sign (or worse become unable). And yet the notarized document would exist. That is extreme in any jurisdiction.

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(@Anonymous 1191)
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The broadest form of perjury I can find in my state, Vermont, says

"§ 2904. False swearing

A person of whom an oath is required by law, who wilfully swears falsely in regard to any matter or thing respecting which such oath is required, shall be guilty of perjury and punished as provided in section 2901 of this title."

Can you prove that when a notary fills out a certificate, whether certificate of acknowledgement or jurat, the notary is swearing? (I know they are in California because of special laws, but what about the rest of the states?) Also, I believe the notary only receives the oath of the signatory in the case of a jurat; an acknowledgement isn't an oath. (Although I did come across one old book from the 1800s that mentioned an "acknowledgment oath", but I can't find it now.

Of course, it is likely the notary committed some other offense.

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