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The act of criminally making or altering a written instrument for the purpose of fraud or deceit; for example, signing another person's name to a check. To write payee's endorsement or signature on a check without the payee's permission or authority. The 'payee' of a check is the true owner or person to whom the check was payable. There are many kinds of forgery, especially subjected to punishment by statutes enacted by the national and state legislatures.

The making of a whole written instrument in the name of another with a fraudulent intent is undoubtedly a sufficient making but a fraudulent insertion, alteration or erasure, even of a letter, in any material part of the instrument, whereby a new operation is given to it, will amount to a forgery; and this, although it be afterwards executed by a person ignorant of the deceit.

The fraudulent application of a true signature to a false instrument for which it was not intended or vice versa, will also be a forgery. For example, it is forgery in an individual who is requested to draw a will for a sick person in a particular way, instead of doing so, to insert legacies of his own head and then procuring the signature of such sick person to be affixed to the paper without revealing to him the legacies thus fraudulently inserted.

It is a sufficient making where in the writing the party assumes the name and character of a person in existence. But the adoption of a false description and addition, where a false name is not assumed and there is no person answering the description, is not a forgery.

Making an instrument in a fictitious name or the name of a non-existing person, is equally a forgery as making it in the name of au existing person and although a man may make the instrument in his own name if he represents it as the instrument of another of the same name when in fact there is no such person, it will be a forgery in the name of a non-existing person but the correctness of this decision has been doubted.

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