Is it illegal to forge a check even though the account is closed?

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Is it illegal to forge a check even though the account is closed?

My brother-in-law wrote a few checks to not only himself but to another person, no legal action will be taken against me because the account isn’t active. I want to know what legal action can be taken against him since he forged my name, and stole my property (i.e. checks)?

Asked on February 28, 2011 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is never legal to forge a check, ever. Further, if the person knew that the account was closed, forged the checks anyway and used another person'sidentity to do so (and not that person's own identity), there are multiple statutory criminal violations committed by so doing.  First of all, your brother in law stole your identity by taking those checks and forging your signature. Identity theft has become more and more of a serious crime, especially in states like yours. Further, the theft of property (from checks to cash to the fact that your credit report may be impacted) is in and of itself a crime, usually under the general category of larceny. You should immediately report him to the police, ensure your credit reports all have a fraud warning placed on them (in case he tried opening accounts in your name) and the bank may then (depending on if he was successful in cashing those checks) sue him for restitution.


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