142 U.S. 140 (1891), Claassen v. U.s.

Citation:142 U.S. 140, 12 S.Ct. 169, 35 L.Ed. 966
Party Name:CLAASSEN v. UNITED STATES.
Case Date:December 21, 1891
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 140

142 U.S. 140 (1891)

12 S.Ct. 169, 35 L.Ed. 966

CLAASSEN

v.

UNITED STATES.

United States Supreme Court.

December 21, 1891

In error to the circuit court of the United States for the southern district of New York.

[12 S.Ct. 169] Indictment of Peter J. Claassen, president of the Sixth National Bank of New York, for embezzling the securities thereof. Verdict of guilty, and judgment thereon. Defendant brings error. Affirmed.

The facts of the case fully appear in the following statement by Mr. Justice GRAY:

Page 141

This was an indictment on section 5209 of the Revised Statutes, (which is copied in the margin [1]) containing 44 counts, to all of which (except 4 afterwards abandoned by the prosecution) the defendant demurred; and, his demurrer being overruled, he pleaded not guilty to all the counts. At the trial the district attorney elected to go to the jury upon 11 of the counts; and on May 28, 1890, the jury found the defendant guilty of the offenses charged in 5 of those counts, and acquitted him upon the other 6. The first of the 5 counts upon which the defendant was convicted alleged that on January 23, 1890, he, being the president of a certain national banking association known as the 'Sixth National Bank of the city of New York,' organized under the act of congress of June 3, 1864, c. 106, and acting and carrying on a banking business in the city of New York, 'did, by virtue of his said office and employment, and while he was so employed and acting as such president as aforesaid, receive and take into his possession certain funds and credits, to-wit,' certain bonds and obligations of railroad and other corporations, particularly described, of the value in all of $672,000, 'then and there being the property of the said association, and which he held for and in the name and on account of the said association, and did then and there willfully and unlawfully, and with intent to injure and defraud the said association, embezzle the said bonds and written obligations, and convert them to his own use, against the peace of the United States and their dignity, and contrary to the form of the statute of the said United States in such case made and provided.' Another of these counts averred that, on January 22, 1890, the defendant, being president as aforesaid, 'did, willfully and unlawfully, and with intent to injure and defraud the said association, misapply and convert to the use, benefit, and advantage of one James A. Simmons certain moneys and funds then and there being the property of the said association, to-wit, the sum of sixty thousand dollars, in the manner and by the means following,--that is to say, he, the said Peter J. Claassen, being then and there such president as aforesaid, did, without the knowledge and consent of said association or its board of directors, procure the making by one Andrew E. Colson, who was then and there the cashier of said association, of a certain writing and check, commonly known and called a 'cashier's check,' bearing date the 22d day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety, which said check did then and there authorize and direct the said association to pay to the order of the said James A. Simmons the sum of sixty thousand dollars, although, as he, the said Peter J. Claasen, then and there well knew, the said sum of sixty thousand dollars was not then and there on deposit with the said association to the credit of him, the said James A. Simmons, and was not then and there due and owing from the said association to him, the said James A. Simmons, and the repayment thereof to the said association was not then and there in any way secured, and the said James A. Simmons had no manner of right and title to the same, and he, the said Peter J Claassen, then and there unlawfully devising and intending that he, the said James A. Simmons, should appropriate and convert to his own use the said sum of...

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