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Auto Loans and Tampering With Records and Forgery

On Thursday, February 21, 2013, a Cuyahoga County grand jury indicted nineteen (19) individuals alleging numerous violations of Ohio law including Tampering with Records (R.C. 2913.42) and Forgery (R.C. 2913.31).

           According to The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Peter Krouse's Thursday February 21, 2013 article, it is alleged that cheap cars would be purchased, loans would be obtained on the cars using false information regarding residence and employment and then duplicate titles would be obtained on the same car to be used to obtain more fraudulent loans or to sell the car.

R.C. § 2913.42 Tampering with records.

(A) No person, knowing the person has no privilege to do so, and with purpose to defraud or knowing that the person is facilitating a fraud, shall do any of the following:

(1) Falsify, destroy, remove, conceal, alter, deface, or mutilate any writing, computer software, data, or record;

(2) Utter any writing or record, knowing it to have been tampered with as provided in division (A)(1) of this section.

Whoever violates this section is guilty of tampering with records a misdemeanor of the first degree.  However, depending on the value of the data or loss to the victim, the degree of the offense increases, if the value of the data or loss to the victim is: 

  • $1,000 or more and less than $7,500           =  Fifth (5th) Degree Felony
  •  $7,500 or more and less than $150,000       =  Fourth (4th) Degree Felony
  • $150,000 or more, but less than $750,000   =  Third (3rd) Degree Felony 

If the writing, data, computer software, or record is kept by or belongs to a local, state, or federal governmental entity, a felony of the third degree.

R.C. § 2913.31 Forgery - Forging identification cards or selling or distributing forged identification cards.

(A) No person, with purpose to defraud, or knowing that the person is facilitating a fraud, shall do any of the following:

(1) Forge any writing of another without the other person's authority;

(2) Forge any writing so that it purports to be genuine when it actually is spurious, or to be the act of another who did not authorize that act, or to have been executed at a time or place or with terms different from what in fact was the case, or to be a copy of an original when no such original existed;

(3) Utter, or possess with purpose to utter, any writing that the person knows to have been forged.

(B) No person shall knowingly do either of the following:

(1) Forge an identification card;

(2) Sell or otherwise distribute a card that purports to be an identification card, knowing it to have been forged.

Whoever violates division (A) of this section is guilty of forgery, a felony of the fifth (5th) degree.  However, if property or services are involved in the offense or the victim suffers a loss, forgery is one of the following:

  •   $7,500 or more and less than $150,000          =  Fourth (4th) Degree Felony
  • $150,000 or more                                            =  Third (3rd) Degree Felony

If the victim of the offense is an elderly person or disabled adult forgery is a felony of the fifth degree.  If property and services are involved in the offense or if the victim suffers a loss, forgery is one of the following:

  • $1,000 or more and less than $7,500              =  Fourth (4th) Degree Felony
  • $7,500 or more and less than $37,500            =  Third (3rd) Degree Felony
  • $37,500 or more                                              =  Second (2nd) Degree Felony

If you or someone you care about is facing allegations of tampering with records and/or forgery, please contact Michael C. Hennenberg to schedule a consultation.

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