- What is Forensic Document Examination?
- Comparing Forensic AI technology to the Forensic Document Examiner role
- Benefits of forensic document examination for fraud detection
Forensic document examination is foundational to OrboGraph’s OrbNet Forensic AI technology. To assist in describing the applicability of forensics in banking, fraud detection, and payments, we talked to forensic expert and author, Khody Detwiler, for this week’s Modernizing Omnichannel Check Fraud Detection post.
Focus on Forensic Document Examination
Joe Gregory, VP of Marketing at OrboGraph, interviewed Khody Detwiler for a discussion of forensic document examination and its impact on banking, fraud, and payments. Here are excerpts. (Click the button to the right to download entire interview.)
Khody, thank you again for joining us. What really is forensic document examination?
Forensics as a whole is the application of science to law. Forensic document examination is a subcategory of the forensic field, dealing with the authenticity of the documents. In a way, it is similar to the ballistics or fingerprint forensic disciplines.
It could involve the examination of signatures, handwriting, a security feature – as in the situation with passports or travel documents – or identifying the age of a document. What we do as forensic document examiners is analyze documents to make determinations as to authenticity, which could be the document as a whole or some part of the document...
What is the most interesting type of case that you were involved with so far?
The most interesting type of case — personally, I enjoy larger, complex cases that take a lot of time because law enforcement is investigating many moving pieces.
I was involved with was a case out of Saudi Arabia. There were over 100 international banks involved, and what we essentially found is that a group of identical signatures were being used over and over again, on different loan documents across these different banks. Total at stake was a little over $20 billion in that particular case...
Can you talk briefly about what the 21 discriminating elements mean to signature analysis?
We have the two different groups that we as forensic document examiners have to look at: pictorial and execution. There are 21 discriminating elements that have been brought out in literature over the years. For each of those categories, you can have a variety of subcategories.
Part of the discriminating elements are considered to be components of style, or the pictorial features of the writing. For example, features like spacing, sizing, letter formations, are in this category...
Do you think that the financial industry could use specific programs to help them for fraud review processes or court cases? How about interbank fraud disputes?
Absolutely. As a comparison, you can think of this process similar to examining travel documents at an airport. First, the TSA agent making the initial contact with the traveler is confronted with a phony travel document — that's essentially “tier one” or “screening step #1.”
They look at it, they'll flag it, that goes back to somebody else who has a little bit more training, a little bit more knowledge, and maybe some more sophisticated equipment than a UV light and a loupe. They then determine that there's definitely a problem, but don't know exactly what it is or how it was done.
The document then gets escalated to “tier three,” which would be the forensic document laboratory...
We want to thank Khody for his time. It certainly was interesting to learn about forensic document examination and methodology. To get in contact with Khody Detwiler, please click here to connect with him on LinkedIn.