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Name: People v. Dunbar
Case #: G046209
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 09/06/2012

Penal Code section 471, which prohibits forgery of an entry in any book or record, applies to both private financial records and public records. Defendant was the office manager/controller for a company; part of his responsibilities involved depositing customers’ checks into the company’s bank account. Instead, he deposited the checks into his own account, wrote a check to the company account for less than the full amount of the customers’ checks, and altered the deposit slip and company records to reflect that the full amount was deposited into the company account. Through this scheme, he shorted the company $6.8 million. After preliminary hearing, defendant successfully moved to dismiss 24 counts of forgery, the trial court construing section 471 to apply only to the forgery of public books or records. The prosecution appealed. Reversed. Section 471 prohibits the fraudulent entry in “any book,” which means “without limit and no matter what kind.” The statute was clearly meant to apply to forgery of both public and private books of record.