find that the particular money order in question was cashed and deposited to the account of Giant Eagle just shortly after the Defendant returned to work after a stay in the hospital for back surgery; that the signature of the payee on the money order in question was placed there in the same handwriting as that of the Defendant and was in fact in the Defendant's handwriting. The jury could also have found under all of the evidence in this case that the Defendant did not have access to the money order (despite the Defendant's protest to the contrary) so that a fingerprint identified as his could have been placed on one of the money orders, if not the money order in question, prior to the time that the money order was cashed and that, therefore, the whole explanation of the Defendant concerning his complete lack of knowledge of the whereabouts of the missing money orders was a fabrication.
The Defendant earnestly contends that the testimony of Agent Newbrough was the only evidence directly linking him with the money order in question and that it was insufficient as a basis for the jury's verdict. It will be recalled that Agent Newbrough, after explaining how he analyzed the various writing samples taken from the Defendant and compared them with the signature of the payee on the endorsement of the money order, stated that in his opinion the same writer had prepared the handwriting sample and the endorsement, or in other words, it was his opinion that the Defendant was the writer who prepared the endorsement on the back of the money order in question. He further testified that he was unable to make a positive identification of the Check-Writer (the check writing machine) which had been offered in evidence as the one which was used to prepare the check in question because of lack of distinguishing characteristics. On cross-examination, he admitted he had attempted to compare other endorsements on the remaining money orders with the samples of the Defendant's handwritings which were supplied to him, and stated that none of the handwriting samples could be identified positively as ones made by the Defendant. The part that the Defendant overlooks is that, however he may argue about the opinion of the expert, there is no question that in the opinion of the expert the Defendant had written the endorsement of the payee on the money order in question. The mere fact that the Government maintained throughout the case that the Defendant had the exclusive access and control over all the money orders from the time they arrived at the Store, and they were presented for collection in New York City, did not weaken the inference which the Government asked the jury to draw from that evidence, that the Defendant was guilty of forging the endorsement of the particular money order charged in the indictment.
The Defendant does not cite, nor has the attention of the Court been drawn to, any case where a jury's verdict would not be upheld for insubstantiality of the evidence solely on the proposition that it was an expert's handwriting analysis that made the necessary connection between the forged instrument and the Defendant. Nor do we believe such a case could be cited.
On reviewing the Motion for Acquittal, the verdict of the jury must be sustained if there is substantial evidence, taking the view most favorable to the Government. Glasser v. United States, 315 U.S. 60, 80, 62 S. Ct. 457, 469, 86 L. Ed. 680 (1942); United States v. Blair, 456 F.2d 514 (3rd Cir. 1972); United States v. Provenzano, 334 F.2d 678, 683-684 (3rd Cir. 1964) cert. denied 379 U.S. 947, 85 S. Ct. 440, 13 L. Ed. 2d 544 (1964). The evidence need not exclude every other hypothesis interpreting the fact adduced at trial, provided that they do establish a case from which the jury can find the Defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. United States v. Boyle, 402 F.2d 757 (3rd Cir. 1968) cert. denied 394 U.S. 934, 89 S. Ct. 1207, 22 L. Ed. 2d 464 (1969); United States v. Giuliano, 263 F.2d 582, 584 (3rd Cir. 1959) as adopted from United States v. Allard, 240 F.2d 840 (3rd Cir. 1957), reflecting the Supreme Court's decision in Holland v. United States, 348 U.S. 121, 135-136, 75 S. Ct 127, 99 L. Ed. 150 (1954).
In this case, the evidence presented a clear situation where the Defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt if the jury concludes that the Defendant's explanation as to how his fingerprints might have been added to the money order in question was not believable. The question then became whether the circumstantial evidence strongly supported the inference that the Defendant was guilty. Brewer was the Manager of the Store to which the money orders were sent and, although he denied ever seeing the money orders before, his fingerprint was on the money order in question. This check was deposited in the Mellon Bank Account after he had returned to work from an experience at the hospital, and together with the proof of his handwriting, was such circumstantial evidence as would permit a finding that Brewer was involved in the money order fraud. Were we to look on this evidence most charitably in favor of the Defendant, it nonetheless leads to the conclusion that, in light of the overwhelming evidence against him, he was guilty as charged. The Court, therefore, had to deny the Motion for Judgment of Acquittal at the time of trial, and we now find no merit for the Court's denial of such Motion to be used as the grounds for the Motion for New Trial.
As to the allegations of the verdict being contrary to the weight of the evidence and not being supported by substantial evidence, this Court finds that they also do not have merit. The Motion for New Trial, under the evidence, must be denied on these grounds for the verdict will be sustained if it is supported by substantial evidence. United States v. Pizzi, 470 F.2d 681 (3rd Cir. 1972); United States v. Hamilton, 457 F.2d 95 (3rd Cir. 1972); United States v. DeCavalcante, 440 F.2d 1264, 1273 (3rd Cir. 1971).
The testimony has been discussed above and shows that there was substantial, if not overwhelming, evidence to support the verdict. A fair reading of the evidence compels the conclusion that once the jury, as was its function, determined the credibility of the witnesses ( Glasser v. United States, supra ; United States v. Pizzi, supra), the Defendant could be found to have handled the money orders prior to their being cashed, since his hand forged the endorsement of the payee and his fingerprint was on one of the money orders. Therefore, the jury concluded that the Defendant was guilty of the offense charged.
The Motion of the Defendant for New Trial is, therefore, denied and an appropriate order will be entered.