Sunday, July 17, 2005

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. Mann_Nina

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.


Blogger Mark Francis said...

Well, the endorsement area on my cheques are clear (a white box), compared to the surrounding area. They need to be otherwise the signature would be less 'scannable'.

Given the edited tapes emerging from the CPC, we really have to be careful with this stuff. Will we one day see a press release saying that it was a 'technical glitch' that matched the wrong cheque front and back together? ;)

11:23 PM  
Blogger buckets said...

I can't help but be attracted to the idea that someone is grewaling these checks against Grewal--the irony would be so delicious!

11:27 PM  
Blogger Hammering Jow said...


I thought you would find this link of great interest:

It is from a website that covers British Columbia politics, and is very reliable.

What a read this e-mail is.

10:11 PM  
Blogger buckets said...

Thanks, Cam. I'll check it out.

10:44 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Kudos for updating accordingly - AND leaving the original information intact. Too few people are willing to:
a) correct their mistakes
b) admit they ever made a mistake
c) allow the mistake to remain in the open.

10:45 PM  
Blogger buckets said...

Thanks for your kind words. In this case what is important, I think, is that I prevent someone else from making the same mistake and wasting time on it.

12:43 AM  

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