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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. BENJAMIN GOLDHAMMER (11/10/83)

filed: November 10, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
v.
BENJAMIN GOLDHAMMER, APPELLANT



No. 1107 Philadelphia 1981, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Philadelphia County, December Term, 1979, Nos. 1857-2024.

COUNSEL

Stanford Shmukler, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Mariana C. Sorensen, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wickersham, Watkins and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 322 Pa. Super. Page 245]

Appellant Benjamin Goldhammer was convicted of 56 counts each of theft by unlawful taking and forgery following a non-jury trial before the Honorable Michael E. Wallace. Post-trial motions were denied and appellant was sentenced to two consecutive sentences of imprisonment. The court granted appellant's petition for modification of sentence and resentenced him to a two to five year term of imprisonment on one count of theft and five years probation on one count of forgery. Sentence on the remaining counts was suspended.

On this direct appeal, appellant raises the following issues:

(1) The court erred in refusing to suppress evidence obtained from appellant's attorney, from his bank and pursuant to an arrest warrant, the affidavit for which contained inaccurate information.

(2) The evidence was insufficient to sustain the forgery convictions.

(3) Many of the theft charges were barred by the statute of limitations.

We affirm in part and reverse in part.

Appellant had been employed as controller for Lessner and Company, Inc., a mechanical contracting corporation, since 1974. In February 1979, appellant suffered a heart attack while on vacation in Las Vegas. Henry J. Lessner, the president of the corporation, began to review the current bank statements and cancelled checks in appellant's absence. After investigation, he discovered a total of 57 checks*fn1 bearing the apparently forged signature of Richard J. Kates, one of the authorized signatories. It was ultimately discovered that these checks had either been cashed by appellant or ...


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