No. 1931 Philadelphia, 1981, APPEAL FROM THE JUDGMENT OF SENTENCE OF JULY 1, 1981 IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF PHILADELPHIA COUNTY, TRIAL DIV., CRIMINAL SECT. NO. APRIL 1980 NOS. 1134-1144, 1962
Elaine DeMasse, Assistant Public Defender, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Stuart M. Niemtzow, Deputy Attorney General, Norristown, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Hester, Cirillo and Johnson, JJ. Johnson, J., files a dissenting opinion.
[ 306 Pa. Super. Page 531]
This is an appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, whereby the appellant, Martin Askin, was sentenced to terms of imprisonment of not less than 4 months nor more than 23 months and a concurrent term of 5 years probation.
The Commonwealth's evidence reveals that the appellant, a pharmacist, was the principal operator of the 817 Medical Center from May, 1975 until December, 1977, along with Joseph Martorano, a pharmacist and administrator, and Jesse Gutman, a dentist. During that period, the Commonwealth was billed for Medicaid reimbursements based upon invoices on which the three co-defendants had signed, without authorization, the names of John Taweel and Norman Weiss, two doctors who had worked briefly at the Medical Center. The invoices did not apply to services provided by dentists or pharmacists.
On February 6, 1980, following a grand jury investigation, the appellant was arrested on numerous criminal charges. After several pre-trial motions were disposed of, the matter proceeded to trial on February 9, 1981 before the Honorable Alfred DiBona, Jr., sitting without a jury. The appellant
[ 306 Pa. Super. Page 532]
was charged with 11 counts of Forgery*fn1 and one count of Conspiracy,*fn2 and on February 20, 1981 he was found guilty on all counts. The appellant filed post-trial motions which, after argument, were denied by Judge DiBona. On July 1, 1981 the appellant was sentenced to 10 concurrent terms of 4 to 23 months imprisonment, and terms of 5 years and 3 years probation to be served concurrently with the prison sentence. This appeal now follows.
The appellant contends, on appeal, that the trial court erred in convicting him of conspiracy as the applicable period of limitations had expired. Time limitations for the prosecution of offenses are provided for under 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 108(b) as follows:
(b) Other offenses. -- Except as otherwise provided in this section, prosecutions for other offenses are subject to the following periods of limitation:
(1) A prosecution for any of the following offenses under this code must be commenced within five years after it is committed:
Section 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse)
Section 3301 (relating to arson and related offenses)
Section 3502 (relating to burglary)
Section 3701 (relating to robbery)
Section 4101 (relating to ...