Document Fraud & Staple Mark Examination
When the authenticity of a multiple page document has been challenged because there is a dispute concerning one of the pages in the set, there are several methods of analysis that can be conducted to determine the true history of the document. Many cases can be solved by the examination of the series of staple holes contained on each page of the document. When the pages have been mated (stapled), de-mated and then mated again, either once or multiple times and an inconsistency in staple hole pattern or number is detected in one of the component pages, that page must be a fraudulent insertion. In the example below a multi-page document was challenged. The purchaser disputed the sales agreement testifying that page 3 was not the page 3 that was part of the original agreement. An examination of the upper left corner of each page revealed that page 3 contained only two (2) staple holes (the result of one (1) staple) while pages 1, 2 and 4 contained four (4) staples holes (the result of two (2) staples). In light of these results, the only conclusion that is possible is that the original page 3 had been removed and replaced with the fraudulent page 3.