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Watermarks frequently establish the authenticity or spuriousness of the questioned document(s), the genuineness of which may depend on the date of the watermark or more importantly the date mark on the watermark.
The following case history demonstrates how a date mark on a watermark alone can expose a fraudulent document. in Spartanburg, South Carolina alleging that “page 3″ of a Will was fraudulent and was not prepared at the same times page 1, 2, and 4 (the signature page) was executed. An attorney’s secretary testified she had prepared the Will, witnessed each page and personally witnessed the decedent sign page 3 and 4 at the same time.
These two ink aging methods are the Sequential Extraction Technique (SET) and Solvent Loss Ratio Method (SLRM).
The SET and SLRM measure certain ink aging parameters of ink that decrease as ink ages on paper. To date, the SET is the only ink aging method that has shown its reliability through outside proficiency testing using “blind” samples (outside proficiency tests in 1995, 2001, and 2011). Ink Availability Approach The second ink dating approach analyzes the chemical composition of inks on a contested document with the aim to determine whether these inks (as well as other materials used to produce the document – paper, inkjet printing ink, toner, stamp pad ink, etc.) were commercially available on or prior to the date appearing on the document. – The examination’s purpose is to assess whether the entries being compared were produced with the ink of the same composition or with different inks (pens). The order of execution of certain elements of a document Writing ink sequencing – Examining intersections (areas where two or more pen lines cross) to determine the order of writing (it may prove that a particular entry was added at a later time) Sequencing of indented impressions and writings – Examining intersections (areas where the visible ink lines cross the indentations) may determine the order of writing and thus prove that a particular entry was added at a later time.
One of the calls that Southworth received was from Mr. Dawson, a Forensic Document Examiner with Dawson Document Laboratory, L. For example, there are times when one party in a probate dispute will allege a “page” was inserted in a Will thereby changing the distribution of the estate to benefit an individual “the family knows the decedent despised.” Other times several family members may submit a different Will to probate, each Will bearing a different date.
For the average examiner paper analysis alone does not resolve the question.
The age or common origin of the document(s) may be determined through typewriting, printing, handwriting or even ink analysis; however, many times the problem may be quickly solved if a watermark is noted on the documents(s).
If there is a date mark on the watermark, the case could move even more quickly.
Technically the page 3 signature was not necessary for the Will.Other ink entries are not necessary for comparison. Aginsky has developed the SET as a result of many years of research of the ink aging methodology developed and published by Dr. For example, if the questioned document’s date precedes the manufacturing date for the ink used to sign the document, it is established that the document could not have been signed on the date it bears. Such intra-comparisons of inks may reveal that the questioned entries were not written contemporaneously with the other entries in the file (document). – The examination’s purpose is to assess whether the use of various inks on the document(s) fits a pattern that is either consistent with the dates appearing on the document(s) or indicates preparation "at one time" (during a short period of time). Paper folds – It is often possible to determine whether an ink line that intersects a paper fold was written before or after the paper was folded.Offset marks – When two pieces of paper are pressed together, marks such as writing (and printing) may be transferred from one to another.The court threw out the fraudulent Will and probated the decedent’s Estate under appropriate statue. He has had extensive training from the FBI and Secret Service.He has contributed testimony on numerous occasions as an expert in this area for the Federal Courts, State Courts, Local Courts, Court Martial Proceedings and State Boards and Regulatory Proceedings.
In addition to being a Forensic Document Examiner, he is also a Forensic Photographer.