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People v. Passantino

OPINION FILED JANUARY 8, 1979.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

JACK PASSANTINO, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Kane County; the Hon. JOHN A. KRAUSE, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE RECHENMACHER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied February 8, 1979.

The defendant was convicted of forgery under an accountability theory in a bench trial and sentenced to not less than 3 1/3 nor more than 10 years in the penitentiary. He contends in this appeal that he was not proved guilty of forgery beyond a reasonable doubt because the evidence failed to prove that the defendant had the specific intent to facilitate the commission of the offense of forgery.

Forgery is defined by the Criminal Code of 1961, section 17-3 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 17-3), as follows:

"Forgery.) (a) A person commits forgery when, with intent to defraud, he knowingly:

(1) Makes or alters any document apparently capable of defrauding another in such a manner that it purports to have been made by another or at another time, or with different provisions, or by authority of one who did not give such authority; or

(2) Issues or delivers such document knowing it to have been thus made or altered; or

(3) Possesses, with intent to issue or deliver, any such document knowing it to have been thus made or altered.

(b) An intent to defraud means an intention to cause another to assume, create, transfer, alter or terminate any right, obligation or power with reference to any person or property.

(c) A document apparently capable of defrauding another includes, but is not limited to, one by which any right, obligation or power with reference to any person or property may be created, transferred, altered or terminated.

(d) Sentence.

Forgery is a Class 3 felony."

The defendant was acquainted with Cynthia Stroud. She came into the Union National Bank of Elgin with a check drawn on the Pioneer Trust & Savings Bank by a maker designated as "1517 L.T.D.," in the amount of $210.25. The designated payee of the check was "Cathy Miller." Cynthia Stroud told the vice-president of the bank, Harry Wahlen, that she wanted to open a savings account with the proceeds of the check. She endorsed the check "Cathy Miller" and when Wahlen asked her for identification she pointed to a telephone number on the back of the check and told Wahlen he could call that number for verification. Wahlen called the number and the defendant answered and in answer to his inquiry told Wahlen that Cathy Miller worked for him and "it would be ok to cash the check." Wahlen then called the Pioneer Trust & Savings Bank in Chicago for verification of the checking account and was told that the account was closed long before this check was written. Actually, the indicated maker of the check — 1517 L.T.D. — had been liquidated as a corporation.

Cynthia Stroud had left the bank immediately upon the deception being discovered. However, she was later apprehended, ...


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