Another problem with the plumbing cheque
Updated. As you see if you read to the end, this post is probably wrong.
I commented earlier how easy it would be to use photoshop to create 'new' cheques out of old ones. One thing that I noticed while having a little fun with these cheques, however, is that it's hard to do it perfectly. There are always little seams: artificially straight lines with slight variations of colour on either side. This made me look again at the 'plumbing cheque', which has caused some consternation because there is no signature on its reverse endorsing it. That can be explained (see here). But look closely at where the signature should be both on the original scan and on a blow up:
Doesn't it look like there's a white box in the middle of a greyish field? The grey mottled texture is a shadow from scanning, I think. Such a shadow should not stop suddenly where the signature goes. Might this be a sign of tampering? with a signature being erased?
Now, I'll freely admit that even if we could be sure that a signature was erased, we wouldn't know whose. A cheque to Grewal should be endorsed by Grewal. But there is another weird things about the cheque--it is 'posted' by teller #3 and 'paid' by teller #6, for example. (That's what those numbers on those stamps mean.) Standard banking procedure (as I understand it) would have the same teller do both. This makes me wonder whether this back and this front are from the same cheque--the reason the signature is erased is to hide a signature that is not the same as the payee's. That is, what used to be here was someone else's signature--whoever owns account #10022927.
Why do that? Is this a clumsy attempt to implicate Grewal? Or is it a clever attempt to create a Canadian Rathergate? Or a really clever attempt to create a false Rathergate that is subsequently exposed?
Or is there some other explanation for that white box?
Update: Second Thoughts. But we seem to have a similar box on this cheque. Perhaps its just a feature of the design of the cheque to make it easier for scans to get the signature.
Update 2. In the comments, Mark says that his cheques do have a white box for the endorsing signature. So this whole post seems to have been for nothing.