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COMMONWEALTH v. PREP (06/12/58)

June 12, 1958

COMMONWEALTH
v.
PREP, APPELLANT.



Appeals, Nos. 84 to 87, inclusive, March T., 1958, from judgments of Court of Quarter Sessions of Dauphin County, Sept. T., 1957, Nos. 151, 158, 159 and 162, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Victor Prep, also known as Victor Patrikonis. Judgments affirmed.

COUNSEL

James W. Evans, with him David S. Kohn, for appellant.

Huette F. Dowling, District Attorney, with him Mary E. Hoerner, Assistant District Attorney, Vincent G. Panati, Assistant Attorney General, Victor H. Wright, Deputy Attorney General, and Thomas D. McBride, Attorney General, for appellee.

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

Author: Rhodes

[ 186 Pa. Super. Page 444]

OPINION BY RHODES, P.J.

These appeals involve the jurisdiction of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Dauphin County to indict and try defendant for the crimes of cheating by fraudulent pretenses*fn1 and conspiracy to cheat and defraud the Department

[ 186 Pa. Super. Page 445]

    of Highways of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in connection with the sale and delivery of cinders.

Victor Prep (also known as Victor Patrikonis), who had a contract to supply cinders to the Department of Highways in York County, and one John W. Crerand, who was superintendent of highways in York County, formed a criminal conspiracy in York County whereby Prep would provide Crerand with false delivery slips to be sent together with valid delivery slips to the Department of Highways at Harrisburg for approval and clearance through the state agencies and the issuance of checks to Prep by the Commonwealth in payment therefor. The object was for Prep to receive payment under the contract for more cinders than he actually delivered. Prep received $2.14 per ton on the basis of the false delivery slips of which amount Crerand was to receive $1. The fraudulent scheme temporarily succeeded, with the result that Prep received overpayments in excess of $5,200. Crerand received $2,500 from Prep in accordance with their agreement. The scheme was discovered; whereupon Prep and Crerand were indicted in the Court of Quarter Sessions of Dauphin County to Nos. 151, 158, and 159, September Sessions, 1957, for cheating by fraudulent pretenses, and at No. 162, September Sessions, 1957, for conspiracy to cheat and defraud the Department of Highways. Crerand pleaded guilty to all indictments, made full restitution of all moneys unlawfully obtained by him, and became a witness for the Commonwealth in the trial of Prep. A jury convicted Prep on all bills of indictment. From the sentences imposed after the refusal of his motions in arrest of judgment and for a new trial, Prep appeals and raises only the question of jurisdiction.

[ 186 Pa. Super. Page 446]

    who resided in Pittsburgh where he conducted his business, sent a written statement to a company in New York City concerning his financial status in reliance upon which the company in New York City accepted his order for certain goods and delivered them to a common carrier for shipment to the defendant at Pittsburgh. The defendant was tried in Allegheny County, and he contended that the courts of New York had exclusive jurisdiction because the goods were obtained by him in New York City when the victim placed them in the hands of the common carrier. This Court and our Supreme Court rejected the contention and held that defendant was within the jurisdiction of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Allegheny County notwithstanding that he may also have been liable in New York for the same offense. It was held that defendant actually obtained the goods in Allegheny County when they were delivered by the carrier to defendant since the victim in New York could have stopped the goods in transitu. Prep concludes therefore that the Post Office Department acted in a manner similar to the common carrier in the Schmunk case, and that the checks were not actually obtained until the mail was delivered. But assuming that the analogy is acceptable, the Schmunk case does not hold that exclusive jurisdiction of the crime is in the county where the goods are actually obtained by defendant from ...


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