Most notaries mainly worry about their job and making sure everything is accurate and professionally done.
Unfortunately, some notaries don’t seem to realize that they hold a public position, and when they do something stupid, it tends to hit the news. Remember that, because your reputation is on the line, both on the job, and even when you aren’t doing a signing.
We’re not naming names here, but here are your top five blundering notaries of 2017.
#5 – We have a tie here, and they are both from Louisiana. And both were notaries who owned title companies, and both were arrested for selling fake drivers licenses.
A Metarie man allegedly sold over 400 fake drivers licenses through two branches of his title and notary business. He was able to actually access the DMV and print out what appeared to be real licenses. He was charged with 420 counts of computer fraud and falsifying records.
A Denham Springs woman was arrested for selling fake driver’s licenses through her business. Police found her after they pulled someone over who had one of her fake licenses. When police raided her business, they found all the machinery and materials to create hundreds more drivers licenses.
#4 – In September, a notary in San Diego was charged with wire and mail fraud conspiracy and identity theft charges. In a massive real estate scam that bilked an estimated 50 million dollars from investors, she and her partner sold the same properties over and over again to fake buyers. They then created false paperwork showing that the loans and been paid off. Then they created new fake buyers and went through the whole process again.
She was also accused of destroying evidence regarding the practice. The only silver lining here? It was her partner who took most of the flack and his photo was the main one circulating on the news.
#3 – In July, in Newport, Kentucky, a notary was charged with forging signatures on a public petition regarding a murder trial. When she could not get the number of signatures required, it is alleged that she forged the remaining names needed. And she is not blamed at all for her notarial duties, but she is charged with 28 counts of felony forgery. Of 156 signatures acquired, only 38 were deemed to be authentic.
Worst part? She was doing it for her employer and now she gets to be the one getting drug through the mud.
#2 -Our number two blundering notary holds the distinction of being the only one who made national headlines, for all the wrong reasons. A notary from the Bronx, who was allegedly under the influence of K2 (a synthetic form of marijuana) careened down a sidewalk in Times Square in May. His mistake was fatal, as 1 person died and 22 were injured. Police reported he looked intoxicated after the crash.
Witnesses said he went the wrong way on the 7th avenue sidewalk for three blocks.
#1 – It is bad enough when you bring yourself down. But, when you carry law enforcement with you, we are taking it to a whole new level. An Orlando, FL notary, who happened to be the notary for the Florida Highway Patrol, came under suspicion because of one document, related to schools, and not even her duties for the Florida Highway Patrol. Not only was she charged with a third degree felony, but every document she ever signed for the Florida Highway Patrol came under suspicion.
So what grand prize did she win for her notary blunder? A free haircut for her son. Three to five years in jail for a free haircut!
Definitely not worth it.
How about a bonus blunder, with a little bit of Vatican scandal mixed in?
A South Dakota notary, who is also a Reverand and connected to the Vatican, was accused of sexual harassment in August. And get this, he is serving as the notary for an Archbishop under trial for sexual abuse of a minor. The official story of the alleged harassment was not released, however the church said they investigated it fully and found no wrongdoing.