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Name: People v. Dieguez
Case #: A091657
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 04/30/2001
Subsequent History: Modif. on den. rehg. 5/22/01; Rev. den. 8/15/01

In a prosecution for perjury and making a false statement in support of a worker’s comp claim, the trial court did not err by failing to give, sua sponte, a unanimity instruction which required the jurors to agree on the statement which was falsely made. An instruction would only be required where the prosecutor relied on more than one act which could constitute the offense. Here, there was one continuous course of conduct which constituted the offense. There was no basis for the jury to distinguish between statements. There was no ineffective assistance of counsel where counsel failed to challenge the jurisdiction of Contra Costa County where the offense took place in part in Contra Costa County, and in part in San Francisco County. The false statements took place in San Francisco, but appellant reported his injuries at his workplace in Contra Costa County. Therefore, either county had jurisdiction. The court did not err prejudicially when it failed to include the element of specific intent to defraud in its instructions on the requisite elements of making false statements to support a worker’s comp claim. The jury necessarily found that appellant knowingly made false statements with the intent to obtain benefits. Therefore, it necessarily found that he had the intent to defraud. Counsel was likewise not ineffective for failing to request the specific intent instruction, since the instruction was superfluous.