Bart Baggett Fraud Case Settled in Client’s Favor: Forgery Thwarted.


Bart Baggett’s expert testimony revealed a forged will in the Estate of Sammie McGrue probate case in Los Angeles Superior Court. Baggett’s testimony was the last evidence needed to proof a contested will of the late Sammie McGrue was nothing more than a poorly executed forgery that failed to slip under the radar of the smart and experienced Commissioner Reva Goetz, who handles probate cases daily.

As long as these forgery trends continue, Forensic Document Examiners are becoming an asset to justice and a thorn in the side of criminals nationwide. [Bart Baggett] leads the nation in training and mentoring new experts in this growing field. Pursuing a career in Forensic Document Examination becomes more viable … and rewarding. “The court actually gave me 2 hours and a desk to study the original will before my testimony. They obviously care about the truth.” said Baggett of the generosity and special effort made by the Probate Department of the Los Angeles Superior Court staff on June 18th, 2009.

“This case is typical of the crimes me and my graduates see everyday in this line of work. In most cases which get to trial, at least one person is lying… the job of the forensic document examiner is to allow the evidence to point in the direction of the truth. We interpret the evidence and share it with the court. It is a great job when justice prevails.” said Bart Baggett, President and founder of [The International School of Forensic Document Examination]

Bart  Baggett, Forensic Handwriting Expert

Bart Baggett, Forensic Handwriting Expert

It is believed that someone forged S. McGrue’s signature on a false 1993 Last Will and Testament. Despite presenting the court with a color photocopied “original”, the fake will utilized 2008 version legal forms and a notary seal issued in 2006. In other words, part of the 1993 will was actually created on software and documents which did not exist in 1993… and the perpetrators of the crime left the copyright notice on two of the forms. It is even believed the notary of the document purgered herself on the witness stand and is in fear of losing her notary license. “There is no doubt the notary committed perjury on the witness stand today.” said Barbara Brunner, a witness in the case and owner of [Paralegal Probate Service.]

Commissioner Goetz was quick to see the evidence clearly and guided the beneficiaries to find a honest and fair settlement of the estate. There was no valid will, so the estate will be split equally among the children. Howard Lynch, the attorney who successfully contested the fake will said,”Submitting a forged will to the court is serious business. I’m glad justice prevailed today, but criminal charges could be filed in a case like this. ”

Until 2003, training for this unique Crime Scene Investigator-type career was only available: 1) in a government crime lab at very low wages, 2) at a private lab where apprentice examiners worked for free, or 3) for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where employment is nearly impossible to obtain. [The International School of Forensic Document Examination] recognized this need, becoming the only non-governmental institution that offers a structured 6 module curriculum and certification program in forensic document examination. Graduates has successfully become part of the fabric of forensic examiner having testified in both civil and criminal cases nationwide. The school has helped dozens of work-at-home entrepreneurs find rewarding careers in forensic document examination. The school currently has students in Australia, New Zealand, India, Canada, Taiwan, Slovakia, and the United States.

President and founder of the International School of Forensic Documents Bart Baggett sparked interest in handwriting analysis when he was a teenager, and even secured an internship with a leading authority in the field while still in high school. Baggett’s passion for handwriting brought him to study both sciences relating to handwriting, eventually becoming one of the few experts frequently called up on for commentary on both criminal personality profiling and forensic identification through handwriting.

Since 1996 the national media has been calling on Baggett to comment on top news stories involving handwriting such as the BKK killer, Anthrax letters, JonBenet Ramsey and the Zodiac murders, on shows like The Today Show, America’s Most Wanted, and CNN’s Larry King Live. Baggett began testifying in court during the 1990’s and remains a frequent qualified expert witness in courtrooms in California and the Southwest. He currently resides in Los Angeles.


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