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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JACK D. GROSSMAN (02/20/86)

filed: February 20, 1986.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JACK D. GROSSMAN, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of February 4, 1985, in the Court of Common Pleas of Crawford County, Criminal Division, at No. 1984 - 049.

COUNSEL

Thomas A. Crawford, Jr., Pittsburgh, for appellant.

John F. Spataro, Assistant District Attorney, Meadville, for Com., appellee.

Wieand, Del Sole and Hester, JJ. Wieand, J., concurs in the result.

Author: Hester

[ 351 Pa. Super. Page 301]

Appellant, Jack D. Grossman, was convicted by jury of fraud in procuring insurance or in collecting claims. Post-verdict motions were denied, and appellant was sentenced to incarceration of six to twelve months. This appeal was taken from the judgment of sentence of February 4, 1985. We affirm.

Appellant was the owner and operator of an insurance agency in Meadville, Crawford County, Pennsylvania. In December, 1981, he secured casualty insurance for Utility Contractors, Inc. and its tenant, Fuller Mop Company. Fuller leased commercial property, and it was obligated under the lease to pay for insurance on the real estate and contents. The insurance was underwritten by Northeast Insurance of Portland, Maine. The Northeast policy lapsed in 1982 for failure to pay premiums.

[ 351 Pa. Super. Page 302]

In October, 1982, appellant accepted $200.00 from Fuller for insurance on Fuller's business and Utility's building. Appellant did not process the application until January 17, 1983, when it was received by Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, a new carrier.

When the building was destroyed by fire on January 13, 1983, Fuller's principal owner called appellant. Appellant did not return the owner's numerous telephone calls; instead, he frenetically processed Fuller's application. The postal service's cancellation stamp on the application envelope was dated January 16, 1983; it was inferred that appellant backdated the application to January 11, 1983, and his postal meter to January 13, 1983.

On March 4, 1983, Officer Jack Young and Detective Jack Loutzenhiser from the City of Meadville Police Department entered appellant's business office. Young remained to secure the premises while Loutzenhiser departed to obtain a search warrant. Loutzenhiser returned in one hour with District Attorney John M. Dawson to present the warrant and conduct a search. Several files were removed, and some were used in two separate criminal proceedings. Fuller's file was seized and used as evidence in this proceeding.*fn1

Appellant argues that the court erred in denying his motion to suppress Fuller's file because there was a warrantless entry into his business office, the warrant was overly broad and the warrant was improperly executed. We address these alleged grounds for illegal search and seizure ad seriatim.

When there is probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime is on the premises, and when there are no exigent circumstances, do officials have authority to secure the premises ...


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