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Pretending to have official character.

Personating another.

Assuming a character or position.

and Fraud, or of Falsehood, Fraud, and Wilful Imposition.

Pretending to have an official character is criminal. Convictions have taken place for pretending to be a notary (1),-a clergyman (2), an exciseman (3),-a tax-gatherer (4), and a sheriff-officer (5). An official under suspension acts criminally if he pretend to be able to fulfil his office (6).

It is criminal to personate another for any purpose of advantage, e.g., personating another before a court of justice (7); or personating a tradesman to get goods (8); or personating the owner of goods to get delivery from the custodier (9).

It is criminal for a purpose of advantage to assume a character, though not official, or that of a known. person: e.g. to pretend to be a collector for a public office or charity (10); or to be the agent, or housekeeper, or servant of a person in order to get goods (11); or a messenger sent by the owner of goods to get possession from the custodier (12); or to pretend to be a farmer in order to deceive into the belief

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excite compas

that horses offered for sale are sound (1); or to pretend to be a pensioner, in order to obtain payment of a pension (2)—or to get credit (3); or to pass one'sself off as a person of means and position, to get credit or advances (4)—or as a person of influence, to obtain money on pretence of getting a situation for another (5); or as a person appointed by a society as inspector of schools, to obtain board and lodging, loans, &c. (6); or as a friend of a person's relations abroad, to obtain money on the pretext of having brought presents from them, the freight of which had to be paid (7).

Telling false stories to excite compassion (8), or Falsehoods to imposing on the simple by pretending to tell fortunes, sion.

Fortune telling. or to teach how to make money or recover lost property by enchantments (9), are common modes of cheating. Cardsharping falls under this denomina- Cardsharping. tion. A case has occurred where confederates acted as if they did not know each other, and got money in a railway carriage, by one of them pretending to have lost money to the other at cards, and begging a loan to enable him to recover his losses (10). Cases have occurred of apprentices obtaining bounty when enlist- Falsehood to

obtain bounty. ing on the false statement that they were not apprentices (11), and of men labouring under disqualifying

1 Hood v. Young, H.C., June 6 Hume i. 174, case of Douglas in 10th 1853; 1 Irv. 236 and 25 S. J. note 1.-Alison i. 364. 446.

6 Hume i. 174, case of Campbell 2 Hume i. 172, case of Beaton in note 1.-Alison i. 365. and Macdonald in note 2.-i. 174, 7 Hume i. 172case of Graham case of Gillies in note 1.

there. 3 Rob. Meldrum and Catherine 8 Hume i. 174, case of Rickaly Reid, H.C., May 8th 1838; 2 Swin. in note 1,- Alison i. 365. 117 and Bell's Notes 64.

9 Burnett 173, case of Warren 4 Hume i. 174, case of Kirby there.-Hume i. 174, case of Hut. in note 1.-i. 173, case of Hall chison or Arrol in Note 1.-Alison there.-Alison i. 363, 364.–Thos. i. 363, 364.-See also 9 George ii. R. M'Gregor, and Geo. Inglis, H.C., c. 5. March 16th 1846 ; Ark. 49.-Adolf 10 Will. Clark and others, AberKronacher, H.C., June 21st 1852; deen, May 3rd 1859 ; 3 Irv. 409. 1 Irv. 62.

11 Hume i. 174, case of Munro & Macfarlane in note 1.-Alison i. 364.


Obtaining another's letter.

Many other cases of fraud have occurred, where there was no assumption of a false character, such as a person obtaining a letter addressed to another on pretence that he would deliver it, and opening it (2); Overcharging charging more than the proper postage on letters, and appropriating the overcharge (3); and falsely accusing another to the authorities as guilty of a crime (4).


not to pay.

This may suffice to illustrate the cases of this class, which depend on false representations directly made. But there are others in which there is no spoken or Obtaining goods written falsehood. It is a crime to obtain goods or credit for board and lodging, with the preconceived intention not to pay for them, though no false inducement have been held out (5), and stamped obligations to pay have been granted (6). Passing off as genuine an article which is not so is also criminal; e.g.: If a Supplying highly person undertake to supply an article according to sample, or an article which has been inspected, and intentionally send a totally different thing, or an adulterated mixture (7). It has been held criminal to win prizes at a cattle show, by inflating the skins


Placing false horns on cattle.

diseases swearing they were healthy in order to get bounty on enlistment (1).

1 Hume i. 174, case of Kinnaird in note 1.-Alison i. 364.

2 Hume i. 174, case of Borland in note 1.-Alison i. 367, 368, and case of Morrison there.

3 Hume i. 174, case of M'Nab in
note 1.-See also John Reeves,
Glasgow, Sept. 22nd 1843; 1 Broun
612, where a post office servant
altered the addresses of letters by
substituting "via Falmouth
"per Overland Mail," and appro-
priated the difference between the



5 Jas. Smith, Aberdeen, April 18th 1839; 2 Swin. 346 and Bell's Notes 64.-Jas. and Rob. M'Intosh, H.C., January 29th 1840; 2 Swin. 511 and Bell's Notes 65.-John Harkins or Harkisson, Glasgow, Sept. 22nd 1842; 1 Broun 420.Jas. Hall and others, H.C., July 25th 1849; J. Shaw 254.-Adolf Kronacher, H.C., June 21st 1852; 1 Irv. 62-Will. E. Bradbury, H.C., July 28th 1872; 2 Couper 311 and 45 S. J. 1.-Alison i. 362 contra.

4 Elliot Millar, Jedburgh, Sept. 17th 1847; Ark. 355. This offence, as being of the nature of a personal injury, will be noticed specially afterwards.

6 William Rodger, H.C., June 8th 1868; 1 Couper 76.

7 Hume i. 173, case of Macfarlane there.-Alex. Bannatyne, Glasgow, Sept. 29th 1847; Ark. 361.


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of cattle, and affixing false horns to them (1). And FRAUD AND where a person tried to prevent the enforcement of a

Raising fictitious judicial decree for payment, by raising a summons in summons. a fictitious name, and on a false narrative, against the person holding the decree, and procuring the arrestment of the sum due under the decree in his own hands, he was held properly charged with falsehood and fraud (2).

Any vitiation of an existing and genuine deed in Vitiation of deed. any essential part, to the prejudice of the interests of others, is a highly criminal offence (3). If an obligation by John Brown for £20 is changed into one for £200 by the addition of an 0, or the date 1850 altered to 1859 by adding a stroke, that which was really signed by John Brown becomes a document setting forth a falsehood (4). It is a crime to fill Filling in testing in a testing clause with a false date (5). And the date. same holds of erasing a material portion of a deed, Erasing. e.g., scratching out a figure so as to make 200 into thorised provi

sions. 20. It is also a crime if the writer of a deed secretly

1 Jas. Paton, Ayr, Sept. 22nd fabrication or forgery, that is per se 1858 ; 3 Irv. 208.

no offence. It is wholly his own 2 Geo. Kippen, H.C., Nov. 6th and within his own power, and it is 1849; J. Shaw 276.

only when he utters it that he is 3 Hume i. 160, 161, and cases of guilty of an indictable crime. But Aitken: and Dunbar : and Leatch in most cases of vitiation of an existthere.—i. 160, case of Lindsay and ing document, no uttering is necesothers in note 2.--i. 16), case of sary. The wilful vitiation is of Falconer in note 1.--Simon Fraser, itself an overt act of fraud. The H.C., Nov. 21st and Dec. 5th 1857; operation is performed upon a thing 3 Irv. 467 and 32 S. J. 148, already practically existing, and for (Lord Justice General M`Neil's and a fraudulent purpose. There is no Lord Neaves' opinions). Sir Archi- locus poenitentiæ as in the case of a bald Alison (i. 384,) incorrectly fabrication or a forgery, where states this as falling properly under practically as regards all other perthe denomination of forgery. It song the fabrication or forgery has would appear that such offences no existence till it is uttered. have been prosecuted as forgery. 4 John Hutchison, H.C., Oct. (See Simon Fraser,supra, Lord Deas' 28th 1872; 2 Couper 351 and 45 S. opinion). But it is important to keep J. 40 and 10 S. L. R. 25. in view the true distinction which 6 Duncan Stalker and Thos. W. exists between such cases and Cuthbert, H.C., Jan. 220 1844 ; 2 the forgery or fabrication of false Broun 70. writs. Where a person commits


False entries in books.

Destruction or mutilation of docuinents.

or for

insert unauthorised provisions with a fraudulent intention (1) And of a similar nature is the offence of making false entries in an employer's books to conceal defalcations, although this is generally considered to fall under another head,* the appropriation of the money being the principal offence, and the false entries only treated as a mode of concealment (2).

Wilful destruction of documents, whether valuable in themselves or as evidence, (3), and mutilation of business books (4), if done to suppress evidence,

any other fraudulent purpose, are crimes. Of course if the documents are the property of the accused, the destruction or mutilation will not be criminal, except it form part of some otherwise criminally fraudulent scheme or proceeding; but where some one else has a right or substantial interest in the documents, or where they form part of a legal process or the like, the mere act of destruction or mutilation is criminal, if there be the necessary intent to defeat other interests, whether those of an individual or of public justice (5).

The use of false weights and measures is criminal. Three things are requisite to the charge. First, there must be a substantial difference between the weight or

False weights and measures.

1 Hume i. 160.

are many provisions in the Bank 2 Thos. Gray, Nov. 8th 1827; and Excise and other Statutes in Syme, 254.

reference to offences by vitiation or Alison i. 631, and case of

mutilation or transposing of stamps Murray there.

- Walter Murray or the like with fraudulent intent. and Margaret Scott; Bell's Notes But prosecutions under them are 66.—John Reid and David Reid, quite unknown, as the common law Inverness, Sept. 18th 1835; Bell's of Scotland reaches all such cases Notes 66.—Jas. Dunipace, Glasgow, without its being necessary to refer Dec. 28th and 30th 1842; 1 Broun to statutory enactment, the strict 506 and Bell's Notes 48. —- John terms of which only lead to misRattray and others, H.C., Jan. carriages in prosecutions, where 31st 1848 ; Ark. 406.

a conviction at common law would 4 Geo. Malcolm, Glasgow, Sept. be certain.-See Hume i. 169, and 25th 1843; 1 Broun 620.

case of Brown and M‘Nab there, and 6 It is to be observed that there cases of Ferguson : and Hughan in

note 2. # Vide 67.

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