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It is also settled that the victim need not investigate. 'The party so deceived is none the less defrauded of his money [although] he might have made an investigation and determined that the representations were false.' (People v. Smith (1906) 3 Cal. App. 62, 65 [84 P. 449].) But the rule is equally well established that, where the victim does investigate the representation and relies solely on his investigation rather than upon defendant's representation, the crime of theft by false pretenses is not made out. In order for [a] false pretense or representation to be material in inducing an owner to part with property with intent to divest him or herself of title, the owner must rely wholly or in part on that pretense or representation, and he or she must act in that reliance.

An owner of money is under no duty to make an investigation and [has] the right to rely on the pretense or other representation made to him or her, however if before transferring property to another, he or she does make independent inquiry or investigation and relies on such inquiry or investigation rather than on any pretense or representation made to him ...

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