CALCRIM No. 2020. False Financial Statement: Making False Statement (Pen. Code, § 532a(1))

Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2020 edition)

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E. FALSE FINANCIAL STATEMENT
2020.False Financial Statement: Making False Statement (Pen.
Code, § 532a(1))
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with (making/ [or] causing
to be made) a false written statement about (his/her/another person’s/a
corporation’s) (financial condition[,]/ [or] means[,]/ [or] ability to pay)
[in violation of Penal Code section 532a(1)].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
prove that:
<Alternative 1A - statement made about defendant himself/herself>
[1. The defendant (made/ [or] caused to be made) a false written
statement about (his/her) (financial condition[,]/ [or] means[,]/ [or]
ability to pay);]
<Alternative 1B - statement made about someone else or a corporation>
[1. The defendant (made/ [or] caused to be made) a false written
statement about the (financial condition[,]/ [or] means[,]/ [or]
ability to pay) of (another person/a firm or corporation (in which
the defendant had an interest/ [or] for which the defendant was
acting));]
2. The defendant knew that the statement was false;
3. When the defendant (made the statement/ [or] caused the
statement to be made), (he/she) intended that the statement be
relied on;
AND
4. The defendant (made the statement/ [or] caused the statement to
be made) to obtain the (delivery of personal property[,]/ [or]
payment of cash[,]/ [or] making of a loan[,]/ [or] extension of
credit[,]/ [or] execution of a contract of guaranty or suretyship[,]/
[or] discount of an account receivable[,]/ [or] making, acceptance,
discount, sale, or endorsement of a bill of exchange or promissory
note) for ((his/her) benefit/the benefit of the (other person/
corporation)).
[A person may (make a false statement/ [or] cause a false statement to be
made) either directly or indirectly, or through his or her agent. An agent
is someone authorized by the defendant to act for (him/her) in dealings
with third parties.]
[The People allege that the defendant (made/ [or] caused to be made) the
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following statements: <insert description of each statement
when multiple statements alleged>. You may not find the defendant guilty
unless you all agree that the People have proved that the defendant
(made/ [or] caused to be made) at least one of these statements and that
the statement was false. You must all agree on which false statement (he/
she) (made/ [or] caused to be made).]
New January 2006
BENCH NOTES
Instructional Duty
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction defining the elements of the
crime.
If the prosecution alleges under a single count that the defendant made multiple
false statements, the court has a sua sponte duty to instruct on unanimity. (See
People v. Sutherland (1993) 17 Cal.App.4th 602, 619, fn. 6 [21 Cal.Rptr.2d 752];
People v. Dieguez (2001) 89 Cal.App.4th 266, 274-275 [107 Cal.Rptr.2d 160].)
However, where the evidence shows a “continuous course of conduct,” a unanimity
instruction is not required. (People v. Dieguez, supra, 89 Cal.App.4th at p. 275.) If
the court concludes that a unanimity instruction is required, give the last bracketed
paragraph, inserting the items alleged. (See also Bench Notes to CALCRIM No.
3500, Unanimity, discussing when instruction on unanimity is and is not required.)
If the defendant is charged with a felony violation of Penal Code section 532a(1),
give CALCRIM No. 2023, False Financial Statement: Use of False Identifying
Information.
Give the penultimate bracketed paragraph if there is evidence that the defendant
made or caused any statements to be made indirectly or through an agent.
Related Instructions
CALCRIM No. 2021, False Financial Statement: Obtaining Benefit.
CALCRIM No. 2022, False Financial Statement: Reaffırming Statement.
CALCRIM No. 2023, False Financial Statement: Use of False Identifying
Information.
AUTHORITY
• Elements. Pen. Code, § 532a(1).
• Agent. Civ. Code, § 2295.
• Unanimity Instruction If Multiple Items. See People v. Sutherland (1993) 17
Cal.App.4th 602, 619, fn. 6 [21 Cal.Rptr.2d 752]; People v. Dieguez (2001) 89
Cal.App.4th 266, 274-275 [107 Cal.Rptr.2d 160].
LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSES
A violation of Penal Code section 532a is a misdemeanor unless the defendant used
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“a fictitious name, social security number, business name, or business address, or
. . . falsely represent[ed] himself or herself to be another person or another
business.” (Pen. Code, § 532a(4).) If the defendant is charged with a felony, then the
misdemeanor offense is a lesser included offense. The court must provide the jury
with a verdict form on which the jury will indicate if this allegation has or has not
been proved. If the jury finds that the allegation has not been proved, then the
offense should be set at a misdemeanor.
RELATED ISSUES
Misrepresentation of Identity Insufficient
Penal Code section 532a “require[s] a false statement respecting ‘financial condition,
or means or ability to pay.’ ” (People v. Vincent (1993) 19 Cal.App.4th 696,
702-703 [23 Cal.Rptr.2d 714].) A statement in which the defendant misrepresents
his or her identity or social security number is insufficient. (Ibid.)
Application for Credit Does Not Include Apartment Rental
In People v. Maguire (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 1022, 1029-1030 [79 Cal.Rptr.2d 573],
the court held that an application to rent an apartment containing false information
was not covered by Penal Code section 532a.
SECONDARY SOURCES
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against
Property, §§ 48-49.
4 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 85,
Submission to Jury and Verdict, § 85.02[2][a][i] (Matthew Bender).
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 143, Crimes
Against Property, § 143.01[1] (Matthew Bender).
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