Real estate agent blew whistle on dodgy GM ignition plaintiff

A witness stepped forward with a story to tell about changed numbers on a check stub, and what followed was something of a “wow” moment as modern litigation goes [Erik Larson and Margaret Cronin Fisk, Bloomberg]:

Dramatic revelations are unusual in U.S. litigation these days, when reams of evidence and testimony are reviewed before the trial begins, making Kleven’s appearance on the scene a rare “Perry Mason” moment, said Leonard Niehoff, a law professor at the University of Michigan.

“The typical television scenario where a witness comes out of nowhere in a trial doesn’t actually happen much.”


  • Scroll down in the linked Bloomberg artilcle to view the image of the check stub.

    If you take more than a blink to look at the amount in question, you can see right away that it has been altered. Specifically, the leading digits 441 are noticeably smaller than the rest of the digits.

    This is a red-flag sign the stub was altered. Amateurishly. Any alert person such as a realtor checking a person’s means should have noticed this, especially considering the large amount on the stub.

    Good that this fraud was discovered. Unsettling it wasn’t discovered much earlier.

    • And the 4 in the 441 is a different font than the 4 in the 437.50.

  • Sounds like the plot for a future book and movie deal – the documents are fake, but the story is real.

    — Oh, wait. . .