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COMMONWEALTH v. YOCUM (09/15/67)

decided: September 15, 1967.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
YOCUM, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of Court of Quarter Sessions of Philadelphia County, March T., 1964, No. 452, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Charles Yocum.

COUNSEL

Paul M. Chalfin, with him Jerold G. Klevit, and Lipschitz & Chalfin, for appellant.

Joseph M. Smith, Assistant District Attorney, with him James D. Crawford and Alan J. Davis, Assistant District Attorneys, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, and Spaulding, JJ. Opinion by Jacobs, J.

Author: Jacobs

[ 211 Pa. Super. Page 18]

The appellant, Charles R. Yocum, Jr., was tried before the Honorable Theodore L. Reimel, sitting without a jury, on an indictment charging him with the crime of fraudulent conversion. He was found guilty, his motions for a new trial and in arrest of judgment were overruled, and he was sentenced. It is from such sentence that the appellant appeals.

Testing the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, as we are required to do after a verdict of guilty, the Commonwealth proved the following facts: General Electric Credit Corporation, hereinafter called Credit Corporation, bought commercial paper from the appellant who was a furniture dealer. The paper consisted of installment sales contracts between the appellant and his customers. In all cases the goods were actually sold to the purchaser on the installment contract. Credit Corporation sustained a loss as a result of the purchase of the installment sales contracts during 1961 because it was unable to collect the amounts due from some of the customers. During the time of the appellant's dealings with Credit Corporation one Walter M. Wagner was a credit man working

[ 211 Pa. Super. Page 19]

    for Credit Corporation in its Philadelphia office. Appellant complained to Wagner that many of his applications to Credit Corporation to sell his commercial paper were being turned down. Wagner and appellant then entered into an agreement that Wagner would be paid for every application that was approved and purchased by Credit Corporation. After that arrangement Wagner made an effort to handle as many of the appellant's applications as he could. If Wagner could find no credit information concerning the purchaser of the goods, he would call appellant and tell him that the account could not be approved. Appellant would then call back and give Wagner the necessary credit information. The information thus received from the appellant would not be verified by Wagner who would then mark the credit information good, excellent or fair and approve the application. Upon receipt of the commercial paper Credit Corporation would issue its check to appellant. It was shown that in the case of a number of applications where the credit was marked "good" by Wagner that he made such credit rating on the basis of information received from either the appellant or his partner, and that the information received was false.

While the appellant was undoubtedly guilty of a fraud he was not guilty of the crime of fraudulent conversion. Fraudulent conversion is defined by Section 834 of The Penal Code of 1939, 18 P.S. § 4834, as follows:

"Whoever, having received or having possession, in any capacity or by any means or manner, of any money or property, of any kind whatsoever, of or belonging to any other person, or which any other person is entitled to receive and have, fraudulently withholds, converts, or applies the same, or any part thereof, or the proceeds or any part of the proceeds, derived from the sale or other disposition thereof, to and for his own

[ 211 Pa. Super. Page 20]

    use and benefit, or to and for the use and benefit of any other person, is ...


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