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Name: People v. Eastburn
Case #: B216886
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 11/15/2010

For the purpose of forgery from an elder adult (Pen. Code, sec. 368, subd. (d)), there is no legal distinction between an individual and the fictitious names under which he or she is doing business. The 83-year-old owner of a business hired appellant to manage the office and conduct sales. It was later determined that appellant cashed eight business checks with the victim’s forged signature. Appellant appealed his Penal Code section 368, subdivision (d) conviction, contending that the evidence was such that the jury should have found the victim to be the business entity, rather than an elder adult. The court rejected the argument, finding that it is immaterial whether the victim is identified by his name, the name of the company, or DBA the company name. The designation “DBA,” or “doing business as,” merely indicates that an individual operates his sole proprietorship under a fictitious business name, and does not create an entity distinct from the person doing business. The court found no reason why this principle, which is well settled in the civil arena, should not apply to the criminal arena.