Falsifying any document or record
False evidence, fabricated evidence, forged evidence or tainted evidence is information created or obtained illegally, to sway the verdict in a court case. Falsified evidence could be created by either side in a case (including the police/prosecution in a criminal case), or by someone sympathetic to either side. “Falsifying documents” is a type of white collar crime. It involves altering, changing, or modifying a document for deceiving another person. It can also involve the passing along of copies of documents that are known to be false. In many states, falsifying a document is a crime punishable as a felony. Some types of documents that are commonly falsified may include:
· Tax returns and income statements
· Personal checks
· Bank account records
· Business record keeping books
· Immigration documents (such as visas, passports, etc.)
· Identification cards and birth certificates
Basically, any type of official form or document can be illegally modified. Falsifying documents is usually done about broader criminal aims, such as tax evasion. To be convicted of falsifying documents, the accused person must have acted with criminal intent. Some businesses forms such as corporations can also be charged with falsifying documents.
Many different types of acts can be considered as falsifying a document, including:
· Altering or misrepresenting factual information such as prices or monetary amounts
· Stating false information when requested to provide truthful statements
· Forging a signature
· Using official letterheads without authorization
· Concealing assets or property (especially in bankruptcy proceedings)
· Knowingly using or distributing a fake document
· Destroying information material to an investigation
Again, a person can only be held criminally liable if they are acting with the intention of deceiving or defrauding another party, such as another person or a bank. So, if a person was using a document but did not know that it was fake, they usually cannot be found guilty of falsifying a document.
Employees engage in unethical practices such as forging documents or document related to customers, operations and other forms of sensitive information of the organization (Menzel, 2012). There are several reasons for such unethical practices; they include bribe, work stress, and target. There are some other situations where employee feel that not doing an activity that involves unethical practice is unethical (Menzel, 2012, pg. 235). In all such cases, employees will be considered guilty and needed action will be taken against them. Whistle-blowers are the employees will have the authority to inform about such incidents to the management of the organization (Graham, 2014). Reporting such events achieve rewards and fame, but, it also has some risks to their employees. Organizations using whistleblowing process will set a procedure that must be completed to report about an incident where employees participate in modifying/falsifying records in the organization. Based on the evidence is in justification available on the incident appropriate decision will be taken on target employee. However, there are several situations where the whistle-blowers became the victim and lost their jobs too. Such events discourage employees from speaking about the unethical practice happening in the organization. For example, Wells Fargo has an ethical line to which employees working in the organization can complain about unethical practices going on in the organization. Bill Bado, the past employee of the organization, made a complaint about unethical practices associated with falsifying the document by the sales team (Egan, 2016). But at that end, Bado lost his job but not creating an account and rejecting the lead brought forward by the sales team. Such issues must be resolved to achieve useful results from whistleblowing.
Egan, M. (2016, Sep 21). I called the Wells Fargo ethics line and was fired. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com: http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/21/investing/wells-fargo-fired-workers-retaliation-fake-accounts/
Graham, C. (2014, Jul 4). Whistleblowing and employment law – what you need to know. Retrieved from hrmagazine.co.uk: http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/article-details/whistleblowing-and-employment-law-what-you-need-to-know
Menzel, D. C. (2012). Ethics Management for Public Administrators: Leading and Building Organizations of Integrity. London: M.E. Sharpe.