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UNITED STATES v. MARKOWITZ

September 15, 1959

UNITED STATES of America
v.
Abe MARKOWITZ, Anthony Farese, James Chieppa, Charles Veneziale, Henry Kush, Angelo Sgro, James Randazzo. UNITED STATES of America v. Joseph LA MACCHIA



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CLARY

This matter is before the Court on motions for judgment of acquittal and/or a new trial filed by the above-named 8 defendants, who were indicted under the foregoing Bills of Indictment and tried before this Court and a jury commencing June 8, 1959. Of a total of 17 defendants who went to trial on the charge of conspiracy to violate the Internal Revenue Laws of the United States, in violation of the provisions of Title 18 U.S.C.A., Section 371, 8 defendants were granted motions for judgment of acquittal during the trial; one (1) defendant was acquitted by the jury; and the jury returned a verdict of guilty as to each of the above-named 8 remaining defendants.

A previous trial which commenced on March 16, 1959, before the Honorable Edwin D. Steel, Jr. and a jury, had resulted in a mistrial.

 In capsule form the essential facts of the cases are as follows:

 On Saturday, June 7, 1958, Agents of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Unit of the United States Treasury Department raided 2 buildings in Reading, Pennsylvania, in which was discovered an enormous illegal distillery in full operation. The testimony indicates that knowledge of the existence of the illegal still was first obtained by the Agents on June 5, 1958. The buildings were kept under surveillance for approximately 36 hours and the raid then ensued. Although three people were seen by the Agents entering the buildings and none emerged, no one was found on the premises.

 To properly set the case in perspective, it must be understood that the buildings involved were part of an extensive group of buildings, some 16 in number, formerly occupied solely by the Penn Hardware Company and known as the Penn Hardware buildings. Of varying sizes, one, two and three stories, 15 of the buildings were used for manufacturing and shipping purposes, and the 16th building was a two-story office building. The David Realty Company purchased the entire property and attempted to make an industrial center by renting buildings and portions of the buildings to different industrial concerns. At the time of the incidents here involved, the following firms, among others, occupied an entire or portion of a building of the group:

 1. American Chain and Cable Co.

 2. Bechtle-Letts Co.

 3. Midland Western Co.

 4. Penn Electric Company

 5. Hodges Bedding

 6. Auto Parts

 7. Schoener's Candy

 8. Sears Roebuck Company

 9. Ladds Hosiery ...


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