Sr., retired and turned Active over to his son, defendant McMonagle. [N.T. 2-99, 2-100, 2-114.] At approximately the same time that defendant McMonagle acquired Active, he introduced Helm and Manning to Pyfer as the new "house." [N.T. 2-115 to 2-117.] In 1972, soon after the new "house" took over, Pyfer arranged a meeting at the Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, plant of Philco Ford between Helm, Manning and Graham to discuss Graham's payment of a substantial unpaid balance or "tab" he had accumulated with the "house." [N.T. 2-128 to 2-130.] At the conclusion of that meeting, Helm and Manning told Pyfer that Graham had said he "would have checks." [N.T. 2-128 to 2-130.]
Pyfer's normal routine in handling the embezzled checks was that, when he received the checks from Graham, he would deliver them to McMonagle at Active. [N.T. 2-120, 2-121, 2-130.] Approximately three days after dropping off the checks, Pyfer would return to Active, where McMonagle would pay him the net cash proceeds from the checks. [N.T. 2-121, 2-122, 2-130 to 2-134.] The amount which Pyfer owed on his "tab" with the "house" was deducted from the proceeds of the check and paid directly to Helm and Manning by McMonagle. [N.T. 2-132 to 2-134.] On occasion, Pyfer would deliver Graham's checks to Helm, and a few days later he would receive the net cash proceeds from McMonagle at Active. [N.T. 2-140.] Of the 43 Philco Ford checks embezzled by Graham, 24 were cashed through Active. [N.T. 1-12; Government's Exhibits G-50 through G-74.]
We hold first that the evidence presented at trial was sufficient for a jury to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that McMonagle, Helm and Manning were associated with Active. The context of the word "associate" in 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c) and the fact that it is not included in the definitional sections of 18 U.S.C. § 1961 indicate that the word must be construed according to its plain meaning. Webster's dictionary defines "associate" as: "to join, often in a loose relationship as a partner, fellow worker, colleague, friend, companion or ally . . . to join or connect with one another. . . ." Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1971 ed.). Construing "associate" in the context of this definition, it is evident that the association need not be a formal one. Cf. United States v. Frumento, supra, 426 F. Supp. at 801-803. Rather, an element of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c) is satisfied if the evidence shows that the defendants were associated with the enterprise in question by means of an informal or loose relationship. The evidence in this case is sufficient to support a finding of an association between the defendants and Active. We hold further that the evidence presented at trial was sufficient for a jury to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that McMonagle, Helm and Manning participated in Active's affairs through the collection of unlawful debt. The evidence was clearly sufficient to demonstrate that McMonagle, Helm and Manning conducted or participated in Active's affairs through the collection of debts incurred on horse wagers, in violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 5514 (1973), formerly 18 P.S. § 4607 (1939).
The motions of McMonagle, Helm and Manning for judgment of acquittal pursuant to Rule 29(c) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure will, therefore, be denied.
An appropriate Order will be entered.
AND NOW, TO WIT, this 28th day of September, 1977, IT IS ORDERED that the motions of the above-named defendants for judgment of acquittal and for a new trial, pursuant to Rules 29(c) and 33, respectively, of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, are hereby denied.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the defendants shall appear for sentencing at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, October 14, 1977, in Courtroom 17B, United States Courthouse, 601 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pa.
LOUIS C. BECHTLE, J.