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UNITED STATES v. DIPASQUALE

April 8, 1983

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
ANTHONY DiPASQUALE, et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: DITTER

 In this case, seven of nine defendants *fn1" were convicted of various counts of collecting claimed extensions of credit by extortionate means, *fn2" and six of those seven were convicted of conspiracy to do so. *fn3" Defendants raise a myriad of post-trial issues ranging from legal and factual insufficiencies in the evidence to errors in pre-trial and trial rulings. For the reasons which follow, all motions must be denied.

 Because the Government charged certain defendants with three substantive violations occurring on different dates, in addition to the conspiracy count in which all defendants were charged, I must specify which defendants were charged in each count of the indictment. *fn4" Count I charged Anthony DiPasquale, August Redding, and Victor Szwanki with beating and threatening Michael Cosmo on December 13, 1979, to collect a claimed debt of $5000.00. Count II charged Anthony DiPasquale and Victor Szwanki with beating and threatening James Kolzer from March 25, 1981, to March 26, 1981, to collect a claimed debt of $16,000.00. Count III charged Anthony DiPasquale, Nicholas Fidelibus, John Serubo, and Peter Serubo with beating and threatening Swain Crawford on May 9, 1981, to collect a claimed debt of $1800.00. Count IV charged each of these defendants and James DiPasquale with having been members of a conspiracy to collect claimed debts by extortionate means. The conspiracy was alleged to have spanned approximately two years from September, 1979, to November, 1981. Additionally, each of the substantive violations, inter alia, were named as overt acts alleged to have been committed in furtherance of the conspiracy. In short, not all members of the conspiracy allegedly participated in each substantive violation, the time between the first and second substantive violations was approximately fifteen months, and some of the defendants charged in the substantive violation of May 9, 1981, (Count III) had no other apparent connection with the conspiracy.

 In view of the fact that many of the defendants' assertions of error revolve around whether the Government proved multiple conspiracies rather than a single conspiracy as charged, I must discuss the facts in detail. Viewed in a light most favorable to the Government, Glasser v. United States, 315 U.S. 60, 80, 86 L. Ed. 680, 62 S. Ct. 457 (1942), the evidence revealed that the defendants conspired to collect claimed debts by beating, threatening with violence, or both, at least five individuals who each had business relationships, whether legal or illegal, with some of the defendants. Each victim was lured to a convenient location for the beating or extortion by one or more of the defendants whom he knew, outnumbered by his assailants, and beaten or threatened with violence for nonpayment of a non-existent debt. Each victim was beaten or threatened with violence until he agreed to repay the "debt", and then directed to arrange by telephone or otherwise to obtain cash from friends, relatives, or other sources, in some instances, while still in the custody and control of the defendants. Additionally, each victim was threatened with more violence if he reported his ordeal to anyone, especially law enforcement authorities.

 The first victim, Michael Cosmo, was involved in distributing methamphetamine with Anthony and James DiPasquale during 1978 and 1979. In addition to selling drugs, Cosmo was Anthony DiPasquale's "runner". Cosmo was beaten on three occasions and the victim of extortion on four. The first incident took place in September, 1979, when Anthony DiPasquale telephoned Cosmo and directed him to go to DiPasquale's farm in Cardiff, New Jersey, "Resorts Concrete," a place to which Cosmo had travelled on several occasions to deliver money, pick up drugs, and care for a horse he owned jointly with Anthony. Because upon his arrival at the farm only August Redding was present, Cosmo went to care for the horse and wait for Anthony. After approximately one to two hours, Redding appeared outside the house, pointed a shotgun at Cosmo, informed him that Anthony had telephoned, and ordered him into the house. Redding also asked Cosmo if he had the $5,000 he owed to Anthony. When Cosmo asked Redding what he was talking about, Redding warned Cosmo that "he better come up with the money or he knew what would happen". Redding then beat Cosmo with the rifle butt rendering him unconscious. Upon awakening the next day, Cosmo was taken by a partner of Anthony's, Alfredo, to a house located in Longport, New Jersey, owned by the parents of Anthony's girlfriend. As Cosmo entered the house, he heard Anthony DiPasquale from a floor above shouting that he was going to make an example of Cosmo, and that "he's [Cosmo] got to go". Anthony then cocked his gun and started down the steps to where Cosmo was being held. At this point, Cosmo thought that he was going to be killed. Holding the gun to Cosmo, Anthony demanded money, and Cosmo not denying the debt, said he would borrow it as soon as possible. When Anthony warned that Cosmo's family would be in danger if he did not pay Anthony $5,000, Cosmo telephoned several people attempting to raise money. Apparently satisfied with Cosmo's promise to pay, Anthony directed that Cosmo be taken back to the farm and released. Two days later, when Cosmo had collected the $5,000, Anthony was notified and within fifteen minutes, arrived at Cosmo's house to pick up the cash.

 The second incident occurred in November, 1979, when Cosmo received a telephone call from Anthony inquiring whether Cosmo had the $2,500 he owed to Anthony. Consistent with the September extortion, Anthony warned Cosmo to "get the money or else". Despite the fact that he did not owe any money to Anthony, Cosmo told him he would get it in a few days. Again Cosmo borrowed the money, and upon notification by telephone of this fact, Anthony again came to Cosmo's house to pick it up.

 The third incident, the one described in count I of the indictment, occurred a few weeks later, in mid-December, 1979. Cosmo received a telephone call from Anthony inquiring whether Jimmy Minnick still installed carpet for his livelihood and whether Cosmo still worked for him. When Cosmo responded in the affirmative, Anthony said he needed carpet for his basement and asked Cosmo to make the necessary arrangements for its installation. Cosmo said he and Minnick would stop by to measure the area, discuss the type of carpet to be installed, and quote a price for the job. This Cosmo did without incident. The next morning when Cosmo and his employer arrived at Anthony's house to install the carpet, a group of men including defendants Anthony DiPasquale and August Redding, were playing cards. Later in the morning when Cosmo went to leave to take his car to his wife, he was stopped at the door by Redding who hit him, knocking him to the floor. As Cosmo lay there, he was kicked and punched by Redding, and then hit by Anthony in the side of the head with a fireplace poker. Anthony continued to beat Cosmo with the poker finally rendering him unconscious. When Cosmo awoke in the basement of the house, he was handcuffed to a pinball machine. Anthony was at the top of the stairs shouting that if Cosmo did not have "the money" he would die. Cosmo then agreed to borrow money to pay Anthony. Beaten and bloodied, Cosmo went to leave the house only to be stopped by Victor Szwanki who beat him again. *fn5" Soon thereafter, Cosmo was released eight blocks from his house with a towel over his head. As a result of this beating, Cosmo was hospitalized for three or four days. Upon his release from the hospital, however, Cosmo again borrowed the money from a family member and paid Anthony.

 The final beating occurred in January, 1980, when Cosmo was installing a ceiling with relatives in his home. Visited there by James DiPasquale, Victor Szwanki, and two others, Cosmo was taken to a back room and blamed by James DiPasquale for causing his brother to "go away". James DiPasquale then demanded $25,000 from Cosmo saying he owed it to Anthony. When Cosmo told them he did not owe any money to Anthony, James DiPasquale and Victor Szwanki beat and choked him giving as an excuse that because of him Anthony was in jail. *fn6" Despite warnings from his assailants not to go to law enforcement authorities, Cosmo reported the incident to police after being pressured to do so by his family. Shortly thereafter, Cosmo received a telephone call from James DiPasquale informing Cosmo that because he went to the police, he was going to be killed. Cosmo was beaten severely on three occasions, paid thousands of dollars to Anthony DiPasquale, and testified he still feared for his life.

 The second victim, James Kolzer, also was involved in a drug selling relationship with Anthony DiPasquale. The relationship began when Kolzer loaned Anthony $10,000 in December, 1980, to enable him to purchase chemicals to manufacture methamphetamine. After a failed manufacturing attempt, Anthony finally was successful in producing a large quantity of the drug. Despite a split of the proceeds in accordance with an agreement, Anthony insisted that Kolzer owed him $8000. As a result of Kolzer's having denied owing Anthony money and rather, stating that it was Anthony who owed money to him, the methamphetamine partnership between Kolzer and Anthony DiPasquale terminated. Kolzer's next contact with any of the defendants was in early February, 1981, when he received a telephone call from August Redding. Redding said he was calling at the direction of Anthony DiPasquale who had been arrested and needed $8000 to get out of jail. Repeating his position from the December incident, Kolzer told Redding that Anthony owed Kolzer money and that he had no money for Anthony. Kolzer paid neither Redding nor Anthony DiPasquale on this occasion. In March, 1981, after discussing a renewal of the drug sales partnership with Anthony, Kolzer received a telephone call from Anthony directing him to meet Anthony at a Sunoco station in Philadelphia at 11:00 P.M. that evening. Thinking he was back in business with Anthony, Kolzer drove to the service station and there met Anthony DiPasquale and Victor Szwanki. Anthony entered Kolzer's car and directed him to drive to an auto body shop which was owned by Joseph West. When they finally gained access to the body shop, *fn7" Anthony told Kolzer to reach under a car in the shop to retrieve a bag which Anthony said he put there for Kolzer. Discovering that the bag was empty, Kolzer stood up and turned to see Anthony and Szwanki with guns drawn. Szwanki then searched Kolzer, tied his hands behind his back, forced him to kneel, and placed a bag over his head. Kolzer's hands and feet were tied together and he was hit repeatedly in the back and head with a pipe. Despite claiming Kolzer owed $8,000, Anthony said it would cost more for Kolzer to get out of the body shop alive. First kneeling and then hung upside down on a chain attached to a hook, Kolzer was kicked and beaten continuously throughout the night. He was burned with a paint-drying lamp. During the beating, Kolzer was interrogated as to how he was going to raise the money and threatened with death. Though not admitting that he owed any money, Kolzer said he would telephone friends and relatives to get commitments for money. *fn8" At dawn apparently satisfied with Kolzer's efforts to raise $12,000 to $15,000, Anthony washed the blood from Kolzer and bandaged his face and hands. Anthony then ordered West to photograph Szwanki with his arm around Kolzer's shoulder. Kolzer was then taken from the body shop, first to a bar to make more telephone calls, and then to a row house where he heard Anthony and Szwanki talking about killing him. Instead of suffering that fate, Kolzer was taken to a Western Union office to pick up money wired to him from his son. After giving the money to Szwanki, Kolzer was taken to yet another bar to meet a relative who had gathered money for him pursuant to his telephone requests. When the money was given to Anthony, Kolzer was told he was free to leave. Anthony then kissed him, told Kolzer he was a "hell of a man," and that he had taken a "hell of a beating." Szwanki merely shook hands with Kolzer and laughed. Kolzer went home and then to the hospital, telling his family and physician he had been mugged at the train station in Trenton, New Jersey. Kolzer testified he had lied about the cause of his injuries because he was afraid of Anthony who had warned him of the consequences of telling the truth.

 The third victim, Swain Crawford, was a used car salesman at John's Chevrolet, a Philadelphia automobile dealership which was owned by John and Peter Serubo. Crawford testified that on May 9, 1981, he left the building where he worked and went to the new car showroom to pick up his paycheck. After getting his check, Crawford saw Anthony DiPasquale *fn9" who told Crawford to go to John Serubo's office. In the office Crawford found John and Peter Serubo, Anthony DiPasquale, and an unidentified "burly" man. Soon after Crawford was told to sit down, Anthony DiPasquale punched him in the side of the head and asked why he had taken money from Peter Serubo. While John and Peter Serubo watched, Anthony continued to hit Crawford, eventually smashing a whiskey bottle over Crawford's head. Then, Peter Serubo told Crawford he owed $1800 to the Serubos. When Crawford denied owing the money, Anthony DiPasquale put a gun to Crawford's head. With the gun so aimed, Crawford telephoned a friend in an effort to raise the money. *fn10" Crawford's friend said she did not have the money and that she would have to telephone downtown to get it. Peter Serubo then directed the burly man to "get the old man," who Crawford identified as defendant Nicholas Fidelibus. When Fidelibus arrived at John Serubo's office and learned of the situation, he said they should break Crawford's legs and shoot him. At Anthony DiPasquale's direction, however, Crawford was taken by Fidelibus and the burly man to Joe West's auto body shop, the situs of Kolzer's beating. There, Crawford was given coffee, informed of several beatings administered at the body shop by Anthony DiPasquale, and told that he had nothing to worry about if he paid the money. Crawford then telephoned his friend again who told him she had a diamond ring valued at $1800. Crawford told this to Fidelibus who telephoned John Serubo to transmit the information. Upon finishing his conversation with John Serubo, Fidelibus announced they were going to get the ring. Crawford and Fidelibus obtained the ring and returned to John Serubo's office. Inspecting the ring, Anthony DiPasquale announced that if the ring was not worth $12,000, it was not worth Crawford's life. *fn11" Anthony then gave the ring to Peter Serubo and said that Crawford would return on Monday, May 11, 1981, with the $1800. As Crawford was released, he was warned by Anthony DiPasquale not to go to the police. Crawford did in fact return on May 11, 1981, with the money. He went to Peter Serubo's office and there found Peter Serubo and Hank Brown, the comptroller of John's Chevrolet. The three men then went to Brown's office and met John Serubo. Crawford paid the $1800 to the Serubos and the diamond ring was returned to him. Then, Peter Serubo asked Brown whether John's Chevrolet owed any commissions to Crawford. After Brown responded there was $200 due, Peter Serubo directed Brown to draw a check for $200 to Crawford who was in turn directed to endorse the check and give it back to John Serubo as payment to Anthony DiPasquale for collecting the $1800. Crawford testified that he did not owe the Serubos any money and that he did not go to the police because he feared for his life.

 The last incidents about which testimony was received were neither listed in the indictment as substantive violations nor as overt acts committed in furtherance of the conspiracy. Because both occurred within the time period of the conspiracy alleged by the Government and were incidents similar in kind to those involving Messrs. Cosmo, Kolzer, and Crawford, they were admitted into evidence as further proof of the conspiracy. *fn12"

 Francis Rosetti operated an automobile body shop and repair service in Philadelphia. On occasion, Mr. Rosetti purchased automobile parts from John's Chevrolet for use in his business. A few days after the Crawford incident, *fn13" John Serubo came to Joe West's body shop inquiring as to the whereabouts of Anthony DiPasquale. After West replied that Anthony was at home, he and Serubo left the body shop in separate cars and drove to Anthony's house. West, Serubo, and Anthony DiPasquale then got into Serubo's automobile and drove to a house on a back road in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. Anthony DiPasquale knocked on the door and spoke to a pregnant woman. When Anthony returned to the car, he commented that the woman had said Frannie did not live there anymore. As they drove back to Anthony DiPasquale's house, Anthony said they would get hold of Rosetti at his garage the next day. The following day, Anthony DiPasquale came to Joe West's body shop and said he was going to John Serubo's to find out how much money Rosetti owed to the Serubos. Shortly thereafter, Anthony returned with photocopies of bills evidencing Rosetti's debt to John's Chevrolet for auto parts and said to West, "Lets take a ride." They then drove to Rosetti's garage, found him, and went to a back room to discuss the debt. Rosetti immediately started to yell asking why they had scared his wife the day before. Anthony told Rosetti to shut up and that he owed money to John's Chevrolet. Despite Rosetti's assertion that he already had paid John's Chevrolet, Anthony said he was there to collect the money. Anthony DiPasquale and Joe West left Rosetti's garage without incident. A few days later, West attended a meeting in Peter Serubo's office with Peter and John Serubo, Anthony DiPasquale, Francis Rosetti, and Rosetti's business partner. After considerable discussion, Rosetti agreed to pay the Serubos $5000 and they gave him two days to do so. Throughout the meeting Anthony DiPasquale and Rosetti yelled at each other regarding Anthony's visit to Rosetti's house. As the meeting ended, Anthony said to Rosetti, "next time it won't be so friendly." On the day payment was to be made, Anthony DiPasquale telephoned West and directed him to pick him up in West's car. West complied and they drove to Rosetti's house in Bensalem. At Anthony's direction, West knocked on the door and was given by Rosetti and his wife an envelope containing $5000 in cash. West gave the envelope to Anthony who counted out one half of the money, $2500, put it in his pocket, and directed West to give the rest to Peter and John Serubo. West did this after Anthony DiPasquale telephoned the Serubos to inform them that West would be there shortly with the money.

 Mark Courtney was a salesman for a company which customized vans and a former sales manager for John's Chevrolet. In his position with the van company, Courtney dealt with John's Chevrolet and the Serubos. When employed at John's Chevrolet, Courtney had been introduced to Anthony DiPasquale by John Serubo who referred to Anthony as the man who took care of their problems. On June 3, 1981, John Serubo telephoned Courtney, told him that someone was at the car dealership interested in exporting a large quantity of customized vans and that Courtney should come there as soon as possible. Thinking that John Serubo was speaking of a profitable business venture, Courtney drove to John's Chevrolet and went to Peter Serubo's office where he found John and Peter Serubo, Anthony DiPasquale, Victor Szwanki, and another person. Peter Serubo told Courtney that John's Chevrolet was paying too much money for customized vans and that a rival dealership paid less. When Courtney explained that the difference in price was due to the increased volume of business done by the rival dealership, Anthony DiPasquale hit him over the right eye with a half full whiskey bottle. Courtney was hit repeatedly by Anthony while Peter Serubo screamed that Courtney owed them $5000 because of the price differential for vans charged John's Chevrolet and the rival dealership. Anthony DiPasquale then took $300 from Courtney's wallet as payment for the "debt" collection and took him to the bathroom to wash off the blood on him from the beating. When Courtney returned to Peter Serubo's office, he was asked how he was going to get the money which Peter Serubo demanded by the next day. Courtney then left John's Chevrolet and telephoned his employer for the money. *fn14" The next day, Courtney returned to John's Chevrolet and gave the $5000 to Mr. Brown, the comptroller. Courtney further testified he did not go to the police because he would have been killed by one or more of the defendants.

 Severance

 Defendants contend I erred in not granting their pre-trial and mid-trial motions for relief from prejudicial joinder and severance. In their pre-trial motions, defendants first argued there had been a misjoinder of offenses and defendants under Fed. R. Crim. P. 8 because the facts alleged in the indictment revealed multiple conspiracies rather than the single conspiracy charged. Second, defendants moved for severance under Fed. R. Crim. P. 14 contending that because much of the Government's evidence focused on the acts of Anthony DiPasquale, the lead defendant who was charged in all counts of the indictment, they would be prejudiced by a spillover of evidence to them. In essence, they argued that the jury would not be able to compartmentalize the evidence as to each defendant. *fn15" There was no error in my refusing defendants' motions.

 Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 8 states in its entirety:

 
(a) Joinder of Offenses. Two or more offenses may be charged in the same indictment or information in a separate count for each offense if the offenses are of the same or similar character or are based on the same act or transaction or on two or more acts or transactions connected together or constituting parts of a common scheme or plan.
 
(b) Joinder of Defendants. Two or more defendants may be charged in the same indictment or information if they are alleged to have participated in the same act or transaction or in the same series of acts or transactions constituting an offense or offenses. Such defendants may be charged in one or more counts together or separately and all of the defendants need not be charged in each count.

 A motion alleging misjoinder under Rule 8 is addressed to the pleadings. Schaffer v. United States, 362 U.S. 511, 514, 4 L. Ed. 2d 921, 80 S. Ct. 945 (1960); United States v. Somers, 496 F.2d 723, 732 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 419 U.S. 832, 42 L. Ed. 2d 58, 95 S. Ct. 56 (1974). Furthermore, the Third Circuit has been consistent in finding that the good faith allegation of a single conspiracy satisfies the mandate of Rule 8 as it provides a common link between defendants and offenses. United States v. Somers, supra, 496 F.2d at 729-30. See also United States v. Bloom, 78 F.R.D. 591, 612-13 (E.D. Pa. 1977) (citing Somers). Here, although not all named in each count of the indictment, each defendant was charged with having collected a debt by use of extortionate means in violation of 18 U.S.C. ยง 894(a), and conspiracy to do so. Therefore, they were charged with offenses "of the same or similar character . . . [or with acts] connected together or constituting parts of a common scheme or plan," Fed. R. Crim. P. 8(a), and accordingly, the offenses were properly joined in the same indictment. As to joinder of defendants under Rule 8(b), notwithstanding that the defendants steadfastly contended the indictment charged multiple conspiracies, there was no allegation the Government had acted in bad faith in drafting the indictment. Furthermore, to accept defendants' argument at the pretrial stage would have required me to prejudge the Government's evidence. Therefore, the defendants were properly joined pursuant to Rule 8(b) and I did not err in so ruling.

 
The court may grant a severance [pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 14] when the defendant can show that the jury could not reasonably be expected to "compartmentalize" the evidence as it relates to him. United States v. DeLarosa, 450 F.2d 1057 (3d Cir. 1971), and that the failure to sever clearly and substantially prejudices him to the point of depriving him of a fair trial. United States v. Reicherter, supra, 647 F.2d 397. Where the Government charges multiple defendants with a single conspiracy, the interests of judicial economy usually favor a single trial. United States v. Jackson, 649 F.2d 967 (3d Cir. 1981). The possibility that evidence will be admissible against some but not all defendants does not require severance. United States v. Kenny, 462 F.2d 1205 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 409 U.S. 914, 93 S. Ct. 233, 34 L. Ed. 2d 176 (1972).

 United States v. Dickens, 695 F.2d 765, 778-79 (3d Cir. 1982). Furthermore, defendants are not entitled to severance merely because the evidence may be more damaging against a co-defendant and there is the danger of spillover. United States v. Boyd, 595 F.2d 120, 125 (3d Cir. 1978); United States v. Dansker, 537 F.2d 40, 62 (3d Cir. 1976), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 1038, 97 S. Ct. 732, 50 L. Ed. 2d 748 (1977).

 Here, there was no showing as to why the jury would not be able to compartmentalize the evidence as it pertained to each defendant. Rather, because the acts charged were separated by time and clearly defined in terms of place, date, victims, and persons present, there was every reason to believe the jury could compartmentalize the evidence. Additionally, the jury's ability to compartmentalize was proved by the verdicts acquitting Ferber on all counts and Fidelibus of conspiracy. There were four other reasons why I refused to grant severance which reaffirm my conclusion that I did not err. First, as stated previously, all defendants were charged with conspiracy. Therefore, not only did the general rule favor a joint trial, the interest of judicial economy strongly suggested that the defendants be tried together. This was especially true here where the proof was extensive, duplicative, and numerous witnesses were summoned. United States v. Kulp, 365 F. Supp. 747, 765 (E.D. Pa. 1973), aff'd mem., 497 F.2d 921 (3d Cir. 1974). Second, to grant severance would have put the Government attorneys at a tactical disadvantage at subsequent trials because they would have been required to disclose their proof at the first one. Third, just because the proof against all defendants was not equal and one or more defendants would have had a better chance for acquittal if tried separately was no reason to grant severance. United States v. Somers, supra, 496 F.2d at; United States v. DeLarosa, supra, 450 F.2d at 1065; United States v. Clark, 398 F. Supp. 341, 354 (E.D. Pa. 1975), aff'd mem., 532 F.2d 745 (3d Cir. 1976). Finally, the possibility of guilt by association and spillover of evidence from one defendant to another were not grounds for severance here where no extraordinary circumstances existed. United States v. Boyd, supra; United States v. Bloom, supra, 78 F.R.D. at 613. Therefore, there was no error in my refusing severance and accordingly, defendants' post-trial motions on these grounds must be refused. *fn16"

 Single v. Multiple Conspiracies

 "When a pattern of illegal activity persists over an extended period of time, with participants moving on and off the scene of action, it is sometimes difficult to establish that they are all part of a single conspiracy." United States v. Armedo-Sarmiento, 545 F.2d 785, 789 (2d Cir. 1976), cert. denied, 430 U.S. 917, 97 S. Ct. 1330, 51 L. Ed. 2d 595 (1977). The Government, however, "may establish the existence of a continuing core conspiracy which attracts different members at different times and which involves different sub-groups committing acts in furtherance of the overall plan." United States v. Simmons, 679 F.2d 1042, 1050 (3d Cir. 1982), quoting United States v. Boyd, supra, 595 F.2d at 123. See United States v. Zemek, 634 F.2d 1159, 1167 (9th Cir. 1980), cert. denied, 450 U.S. 916, 101 S. Ct. 1359, 67 L. Ed. 2d 341 (1981) (general test also comprehends the existence of subgroups or subagreements).

 
A single, continuing conspiracy is demonstrated where the evidence proves that the essential feature of the existing conspiracy was a common plan or scheme to achieve a common, single, comprehensive goal. Blumenthal v. United States, 332 U.S. 539, 557-559, 68 S. Ct. 248, 92 L. Ed. 154 (1947). A single, continuing conspiracy is not transformed into a series of separate conspiracies merely because the Government's proof demonstrates that the conspiracy continued over a period of time or that the characters involved in the conspiracy changed over the course of time, or because there is a time gap in the Government's proof. Braverman v. United States, 317 U.S. 49, 52, 63 S. Ct. 99, 87 L. Ed. 23 (1942); United States v. Stromberg, 268 F.2d 256, 263-264 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 361 U.S. 863, 80 S. Ct. 119, 4 L. Ed. 2d 102 (1959). A single continuing conspiracy may contemplate a series of offenses, or be comprised of a series of steps in the formation of a larger general conspiracy. Braverman v. United States, supra, 317 U.S. at 52, 63 S. Ct. (sic) 99; Blumenthal v. United States, supra, 332 U.S. at 557-559, 68 S. Ct. (sic) 248.

 United States v. Continental Group, Inc., 456 F. Supp. 704, 716 (E.D. Pa. 1978), aff'd, 603 F.2d 444 (3d Cir. 1979). See also United States v. Watson, 669 F.2d 1374, 1379-80 (11th Cir. 1982); United States v. Becker, 569 F.2d 951, 960-61 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 439 U.S. 865, 58 L. Ed. 2d 174, 99 S. Ct. 188 (1978); United States v. Armedo - Sarmiento, supra; United States v. Varelli, 407 F.2d 735 (7th Cir. 1969), cert. denied sub nom., United States v. Saletko, 405 U.S. 1040, 31 L. Ed. 2d 581, 92 S. Ct. 1311 (1972) (principal factors considered were existence of common goal, nature of scheme, and overlapping of participants in the various dealings). "Another factor is the inherent nature of the criminal scheme." United States v. Elam, 678 F.2d 1234, 1246 (5th Cir. 1982). For example, where the type of activity "is such that knowledge on the part of one member concerning the existence and function of other members of the same scheme is necessarily implied due to the overlapping nature of the various roles of the participants, the existence of a single conspiracy will be inferred. Id. citing Blumenthal v. United States, 332 U.S. 539, 92 L. Ed. 154, 68 S. Ct. 248 (1947). Finally,

 
Still another factor is the interrelationships between the various parts and parties of the scheme. Where the memberships of two criminal endeavors overlap, a single conspiracy may be found. United States v. Tilton, 610 F.2d 302 (5th Cir. 1980). Where members of one enterprise have knowledge, actual or implied, of the existence of members of a related enterprise, and where it is shown that a single "key man" was involved in and directed illegal activities while various combinations of other defendants exerted individual efforts toward a common goal, a finding of the existence of a single conspiracy is warranted. United States v. Morado, 454 F.2d 167 (5th Cir. 1972). . . . [This is not to] imply that the various members of a conspiracy which functions through a division of labor must have an awareness of the existence of the other members, or be privy to the details of each aspect of the conspiracy. United States v. Brasseaux, 509 F.2d 157 (5th Cir. 1975). And for the purpose of determining whether a single conspiracy exists, a common plan does not become several plans simply because some members are cast in more vital roles than others or because certain members perform only a single, minor function; . . . United States v. Michel, 588 F.2d 986 (5th Cir. 1979).

 United States v. Elam, supra, 678 F.2d at 1246-47. See United States v. Lemm, 680 F.2d 1193, 1204 (8th Cir. 1982).

 Viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the Government, the evidence revealed a single continuing conspiracy with Anthony DiPasquale, August Redding, and Victor Szwanki as core members. The first common characteristic of the conspiracy was for the defendants to lure the victims to some place, sometimes under pretext, which was convenient for beatings or threats. Michael Cosmo was lured to Anthony DiPasquale's farm in New Jersey and his house in Philadelphia, places Cosmo had frequented on numerous occasions and which were shielded from public view so as to facilitate the beatings. James Kolzer was lured first to a service station presumably to renew a drug selling relationship with Anthony DiPasquale, and then to Joe's Auto Body Shop to get the drugs. No harm to Kolzer occurred until he arrived at Joe's Auto Body, a place convenient for the beating because it was not open for business at the time. Swain Crawford, Francis Rosetti, and Mark Courtney were lured to private offices at John's Chevrolet presumably to discuss business. Second, each victim knew one or more of the defendants: Michael Cosmo knew Anthony and James DiPasquale, August Redding, and Victor Szwanki; James Kolzer knew Anthony DiPasquale, Victor Szwanki, and August Redding; Swain Crawford knew Peter and John Serubo, and Anthony DiPasquale; and Francis Rosetti and Mark Courtney knew the Serubos and Anthony DiPasquale. Third, in each instance there was a claim of a debt and a denial of the same by each victim. Fourth, there was initial violence in the form of striking and beating, or violence was threatened. Michael Cosmo's September, 1979, incident involved both. First he was warned by Redding what would happen if he did not pay money to Anthony and then he was hit with a rifle. The second incident with Cosmo only involved threats of violence made by Anthony DiPasquale. The December, 1979, and January, 1980, beatings involved immediate physical violence. James Kolzer also was beaten immediately, though he was warned repeatedly through the night of continued physical harm if he refused to pay the claimed "debt". Swain Crawford first was beaten by Anthony DiPasquale, and then warned by Anthony and the Serubos of future violence. Rosetti was only threatened with violence by implication, though the threat also was directed to Rosetti's wife and unborn child. Finally, Courtney was beaten initially and threatened with additional harm if he did not pay the "debt." Fifth, there was always a claim that a debt was due and owing to reinforce the demand for money. Sixth, although payment was made within one to two days of the beating or threat, immediate payment in cash was demanded of each victim. Seventh, each victim was warned of further violence, or the likelihood of violence, if he reported the beating to anyone, especially law enforcement authorities. Eighth, during each incident, several other persons were present, thus minimizing the chance for escape or resistance. Finally, there were common personnel in each incident. As regards Michael Cosmo: August ...


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