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COMMONWEALTH v. ROSICCI (12/12/62)

December 12, 1962

COMMONWEALTH
v.
ROSICCI, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 6, April T., 1963, from judgment of Court of Quarter Sessions of Allegheny County, Jan. T., 1962, No. 13, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Steven Rosicci. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Francis A. Muracca, for appellant.

William Claney Smith, Assistant District Attorney, with him Harry J. Schmitt, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, and Edward C. Boyle, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Ervin, Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ. (woodside, J., absent).

Author: Ervin

[ 199 Pa. Super. Page 611]

OPINION BY ERVIN, J.

The defendant, Steven Rosicci, was convicted in the court below, after a jury trial, on the charge of cheating by false pretense. The Act of June 24, 1939, P.L. 872, § 836, 18 PS § 4836, provides as follows: "Whoever by any false pretense ... obtains from any other person any chattel, money, or valuable security, with intent to cheat and defraud any person of the same, or being an officer, manager, agent, employe of or in any way interested in any person, by false pretense, knowingly and with intent to defraud, procures, obtains, or aids, assists, or abets in obtaining from any other person, any chattels, moneys, or valuable securities ... is guilty of a felony. ..." After dismissal of his motion in arrest of judgment and the imposition of sentence, the defendant appealed.

There was no real dispute as to the facts, which may be summarized as follows: On July 29, 1961 the prosecutrix and her husband, who died on November 30, 1961, purchased 135 shares of the outstanding stock of the International Credits, Inc. from the defendant. The defendant was an officer and stockholder of International Credits, Inc. The husband of the prosecutrix had met the defendant on July 24, 1961 by answering a newspaper advertisement calling for people to work in the collection business. During the job interview on July 24 the defendant indicated his willingness to dispose of his interest in International Credits, Inc. On Saturday morning, July 29, 1961, the defendant, the prosecutrix, her husband and a third person drove from Pittsburgh to New Kensington. Prosecutrix testified that the defendant stated "that the business was free and clear, a good thing"; that the business should take in $5,000 a month at least and the expenses should be approximately $200. The defendant also told the prosecutrix that "the business is a good thing," "that there were no debts." He also

[ 199 Pa. Super. Page 612]

    said that there were no liabilities against the corporation and "that everything was free and clear," "all that had to be paid was paying the secretary that worked for him." From New Kensington the prosecutrix, her husband, and the defendant and the third person drove to Braddock (which is located in Allegheny County). In Braddock the husband of the prosecutrix delivered to the defendant a check for $2,400.00 drawn upon a Beaver bank (located in Beaver County), and also a note for $300.00 payable in 30 days for the balance of the 15 outstanding shares. The stock certificates were then endorsed and turned over to the prosecutrix and her husband. Shortly thereafter it was discovered that International Credits, Inc. was indebted in the amount of $875.00 for printing, office supplies and other items. It was further shown that the corporation, which was a collection agency, had obligations of approximately $6,000.00 to clients for moneys collected on their behalf and not remitted to them. The $2,400.00 check was not originally honored in the Beaver County bank upon which it was drawn, there being insufficient funds in the bank to meet the check. On July 31, 1961 sufficient funds were deposited in the bank to meet the check and the check cleared on that date.

The first contention of the defendant is that he is subject to prosecution only under § 843 of the Act of June 24, 1939, P.L. 872, 18 PS § 4843, which section provides as follows: "Whoever, being an officer, director, superintendent, manager, receiver, employe, agent, attorney, broker or member of any bank or other body corporate, or public company, municipal or quasimunicipal corporation, makes, circulates or publishes, or concurs in making, circulating or publishing, any written or printed statement or account, which he knows to be false in any particular, with intent to deceive or defraud any member, shareholder or creditor

[ 199 Pa. Super. Page 613]

    of such body corporate or public company, municipal or quasi-municipal corporation, or with intent to induce any person to become a shareholder or partner therein, or to interest or advance any money or property to such body corporate or public company, or to enter into any security for the benefit thereof, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ...


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