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Journal Thumbprint Brings Final Murder Suspects To Justice

ThumbprintThumb.jpgThe final two co-conspirators in a 2008 murder and fraud scheme have been brought to justice, thanks in part to thumbprint evidence left in the journal of a diligent Notary. The ongoing case has provided a lesson to Notaries nationwide on the value of recording all signers’ thumbprints — and it’s a lesson convicted criminal Kaushal Niroula will have plenty of time to ponder while serving his life sentence.

The high-profile criminal case had all the makings of a Hollywood “who-done-it”—fraud, forgery, deception, and the murder of Palm Springs resident Cliff Lambert in a plot by several conspirators to rob the wealthy man of his home, his possessions, and even his dog. Prominent San Francisco attorney David Replogle and co-conspirator Miguel Bustamante were sentenced last May for the 2008 crime. Niroula and co-defendant Daniel Carlos Garcia, sentenced in December, were the last of six conspirators to be brought to justice in this case.

“The most important material piece of evidence linking [the suspect] to the murder was the thumbprint in the Notary journal,” John Hall of the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office told the NNA in a recent interview.

California and Illinois are the only two states currently requiring Notaries to record thumbprints for real-estate transactions, but Notaries nationwide are choosing to require prints for all transactions, as a recommended practice to protect themselves and the public against fraud or forgery.

To read more on this particular case, and to find out how several real-life Notaries used recorded thumbprints to protect themselves from liability and lawsuits, check out our feature in the November issue of the National Notary Magazine.

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26 Jun 2017

I thought the Notary Magazine was only published in even months? I can't find a November issue on the website.

Barbara R. Smith

25 May 2020

The Notary Magazine has great information. The information is very informative! Also, it shares great ideas for all notaries re-read and continue to stay abroad of the reminders to abide by their state laws. Thank you!

National Notary Association

27 May 2020

Hello. You're very welcome, and we are glad the information was helpful to you!

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