California has made revisions to its disciplinary guidelines for Notary misconduct and employers should take notice. The new guideline states, “Any person who solicits, coerces, or in any manner influences a notary public to perform an improper notarial act knowing the act is improper, including any act required of a notary public in connection with the notary journal, is guilty of a misdemeanor. (Government Code section 8225(a).)”
Law enforcement are now going after employers who pressure Notary-employees to perform illegal notarial acts. In a recent case Lorraine Brown the chief executive offices of defunct DocX, LLC please guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in federal court, and agreed the same day to plead guilty to one felony count of forgery, a felony count of perjury and a misdemeanor count of making a false declaration in Missouri. She faces up to 7 years in prison.
Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer said. Lorraine Brown “was responsible for more than a million fraudulent documents entering the system, directing company employees to forge and falsify documents relied on by property recorders, title insurers and others. Appropriately, she now faces the prospect of prison time,”
The New California Notary guidelines cover several areas of Notary misconduct including, offering unauthorized immigration advice and knowingly notarizing fraudulent real estate documents.
The new guidelines are available here for download.
N3 Notary for information use only, not to be used as legal advice.