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COMMONWEALTH v. STAHL (12/28/56)

December 28, 1956

COMMONWEALTH
v.
STAHL, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 187, Oct. T., 1956, from judgment of Court of Quarter Sessions of Montgomery County, Sept. T., 1954, No. 187, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. John W. Stahl. Judgment reversed.

COUNSEL

Louis Sager, with him Joseph L. Prince, for appellant.

Randolph A. Warden, Assistant District Attorney, with him Bernard E. DiJoseph, District Attorney, and Nicholas H. Larzelere, Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Carr, JJ. (hirt, J., absent).

Author: Gunther

[ 183 Pa. Super. Page 50]

OPINION BY GUNTHER, J.

The defendant in this appeal financed the purchase and sales of used cars through the Pottstown Finance Company. In order to obtain money, titles to the

[ 183 Pa. Super. Page 51]

    vehicles were transferred to the finance company accompanied by judgment notes and bailment leases. When the used car market suffered a set back, the defendant became financially embarrassed and failed to meet his obligations. In the instant case, four cars were involved. He was requested to repay the money due or return the cars, but he was unable to do either. It is admitted that the finance company did business with defendant for several years prior to this financial difficulty.

The defendant denies ever having any fraudulent intent; he contends that the practice with reference to the four vehicles was precisely the same as the practice engaged in by the parties for a number of years prior to the decline in the used car market.

The jury found defendant guilty of fraudulent conversion on four bills. Motions for a new trial and in arrest of judgment were filed, argued, and overruled. Defendant was sentenced to serve not less than two (2) months nor more than twenty-three (23) months in the Montgomery County Prison. This appeal followed.

A review of the testimony reveals what were the actual nature and ramifications of the transactions. While the defendant was interested in buying and selling used cars, the prosecutor was interested in lending money on them with notes, car titles, and bailment leases as evidences of indebtedness. The financial arrangement was clearly understood by both parties. Its foundation was credit, and the relationship was that of creditor and debtor. Defendant gave the finance company his personal judgment note in which he obligated himself to pay the loan when it became due. ...


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