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Name: Akhlaghi v. Superior Court
Case #: G038800
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/26/2008
Summary

Dismissal of substantive charges for making false financial statements necessitated dismissal of a conspiracy charge under the same statute. Petitioners, salesmen and credit managers at a Toyota dealer, challenged the trial court’s order denying their Penal Code section 995 motion to set aside their indictment for conspiracy to submit false written financial statements. The overt acts charged in the indictment were the submission of false social security numbers to assist customers in obtaining auto loans. Petitioners argued below that submitting the false social security numbers did not violate section 532a, which penalizes a knowing false statement respecting financial condition or ability to pay. The trial court granted petitioners’ dismissal motion concerning the substantive charge, but not the conspiracy charge. On appeal, petitioners contended that because submission of the false social security numbers did not amount to making a false financial statement under the statute, it likewise didn’t support a conspiracy charge. The appellate court agreed, and ordered the trial court to dismiss the conspiracy charge. Because the prosecutor’s case rested on defendants’ submission of false social security numbers as overt acts, the submission of those numbers was insufficient to count as making a false financial statement under the statute, and therefore insufficient to support a charge of conspiracy to make a false financial statement.