Does Issuing a Signed Check on One's Own Name Where One Does Not Have a Checking Account Constitute Forgery ?
In In re Clemons (1958), 168 Ohio St 83, 151 N.E.2d 553, the defendant argued that he could not be convicted of forgery because he signed his own name to the check. He, however, did not hold an account at the bank. the court considered the following issue: "whether the making and issuance, with intent to defraud, of a check signed by the maker with his own name but drawn on a bank in which such maker has no 'checking account' constitute a violation" of the forgery statute. 3 Id. at 84-85. the Clemons court wrote:
"[I]n order for a check to be considered a genuine instrument the maker must have a right to make such order, i.e., he must have money in the drawee bank. It seems perfectly clear to this court that the making of an instrument purporting to be a check, with intent to defraud, drawn on a bank wherein the maker has no 'checking account' constitutes the false making of a check within the purview of the statute, regardless of whether the maker signs his own name or that of another, and that such act was intended by the General Assembly to be included in its definition of 'forgery' as set out in Section 2913.01, Revised Code."
Id. at 87.