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COMMONWEALTH v. GROSSO (TWO CASES).COMMONWEALTH V. HOFFMAN (07/20/50)

July 20, 1950

COMMONWEALTH
v.
GROSSO (TWO CASES).COMMONWEALTH V. HOFFMAN



COUNSEL

William S. Rahauser, Dist. Atty., Marjorie H. Matson, Asst. Dist. Atty., Pittsburgh, for appellant.

George F. P. Langfitt, Pittsburgh, for Sam Grosso and Tony Grosso.

Joseph Schutzman, Pittsburgh, for A. L. Hoffman.

Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross and Arnold, JJ.

Author: Arnold

[ 167 Pa. Super. Page 138]

ARNOLD, Judge.

These cases were argued together and will be disposed of in one opinion. Hoffman, one of the defendants, was

[ 167 Pa. Super. Page 139]

    the lessee of a three-story building at 709 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, at a rental of $570 monthly. Under the name 'Hoffman Fur Company' he conducted a store on the ground floor which had a height equivalent to two stories. At the rear of this there was a balcony used by the Fur Company. Above this story the floor was divided into rooms for offices or other purposes. A third story, apparently used for storage, was above this. On the second floor part of the rooms were leased to the Marlane Bridal Shop, where ten or more persons were employed and in which sewing machines were operated. Adjacent to them was a washroom used by both men and women. Adjacent to the washroom an office was leased by Hoffman to the 'Casaba Sales Company.' In July, 1948, the police raided Casaba's room and found a large-scale numbers operation or headquarters, with adding machines and a quantity of number slips. One Al Roberts, apparently in charge, and two women were arrested. Roberts admitted to the police officers his ownership and responsibility, pleaded guilty and was sentenced.

In the instant trial the Commonwealth sought to involve Hoffman with the gambling operations conducted by Casaba. He was the lessee of the whole building and sublet the room to Casaba some three months before the raid. The Commonwealth's theory was that he knew or ought to have known that the room was used for gambling purposes. The Commonwealth also advanced the theory that Sam Grosso and Tony Grosso were concerned in the management of the lottery, and that they had set it up and had numbers tickets in their possession with intent to sell.

At the close of the Commonwealth's case the court sustained each defendant's demurrer to the evidence and it appealed in each case.

We agree with the court below that the evidence fell short of establishing the ...


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