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typeface the facts
January 15, 2019

A Canadian businessman looking to avoid liquidation just got his hopes dashed by a font.

When Gerald McGoey's company went bankrupt at the end of 2017, a court tried to use his homes to pay back $5.6 million in debt to creditors, Ars Technica details. McGoey wasn't having that, and said he had papers from 1995 and 2004 showing his wife and children owned the homes.

The document from 1995 was written in the typeface Cambria, and the deed from 2004 was written in Calibri. Unfortunately for McGoey, those fonts were introduced by Microsoft Word in 2002 and 2007, respectively, as The Province describes.

It wasn't just some ordinary Microsoft aficionado who found the discrepancy, The Province says. The Ontario court brought in self-described "font detective" Thomas Phinney, who said "no one, other than a Microsoft employee, consultant or contract designer" could've used those typefaces at the time, per the court decision. McGoey's lawyers tried to argue they were misdated, but a judge still shredded McGoey's claim.

Calibri has a long history of tripping up schemers. When the infamous Panama Papers tied the Pakistani prime minister's children to some offshore companies, his daughter posted documents showing she was a trustee, not an owner of the companies. One problem: The Calibri-typed papers were dated before the font debuted.

These examples should teach would-be fraudsters a thing or two about typing out boldfaced lies. Kathryn Krawczyk

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