Justice Rolando T. Acosta

 

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Defendant entered a TD Bank branch and attempted to cash a check, made payable to her in her own name, apparently issued by H&R Block Bank. She presented identification establishing her identity as payee, and signed her own name on the check when asked to endorse it. Defendant was found guilty of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, first-degree identity theft, and four counts of third-degree grand larceny. After serving sentence, defendant appealed supreme court’s judgment of conviction. Relying on People v. Sabouni, 61 AD3d 447, the prosecution argued that by presenting for payment a check showing the apparent issuing bank’s routing and account numbers, the bank’s “personal identifying information,” defendant implicitly assumed the bank’s identity. First Department vacated defendant’s identity theft conviction. Discussing People v. Barden, 117 AD3d 216, it found the evidence legally insufficient to support the verdict of guilty of identity theft in the first-degree, because defendant did not assume the identity of the victim bank. When defendant attempted to cash the subject check, none of the TD Bank employees were under the impression that defendant was anyone other than herself.

Justice Rolando T. Acosta

 

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Defendant entered a TD Bank branch and attempted to cash a check, made payable to her in her own name, apparently issued by H&R Block Bank. She presented identification establishing her identity as payee, and signed her own name on the check when asked to endorse it. Defendant was found guilty of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, first-degree identity theft, and four counts of third-degree grand larceny. After serving sentence, defendant appealed supreme court’s judgment of conviction. Relying on People v. Sabouni , 61 AD3d 447 , the prosecution argued that by presenting for payment a check showing the apparent issuing bank’s routing and account numbers, the bank’s “personal identifying information,” defendant implicitly assumed the bank’s identity. First Department vacated defendant’s identity theft conviction. Discussing People v. Barden , 117 AD3d 216 , it found the evidence legally insufficient to support the verdict of guilty of identity theft in the first-degree, because defendant did not assume the identity of the victim bank. When defendant attempted to cash the subject check, none of the TD Bank employees were under the impression that defendant was anyone other than herself.