317 U.S. 49 (1942), 43, Braverman v. United States

Docket Nº:No. 43
Citation:317 U.S. 49, 63 S.Ct. 99, 87 L.Ed. 23
Party Name:Braverman v. United States
Case Date:November 09, 1942
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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317 U.S. 49 (1942)

63 S.Ct. 99, 87 L.Ed. 23

Braverman

v.

United States

No. 43

United States Supreme Court

Nov. 9, 1942

Argued October 21, 1942

CERTIORARI TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT

Syllabus

1. A conviction upon several counts of an indictment, each charging conspiracy to violate a different penal provision of the Internal Revenue laws, where the jury's verdict is supported by evidence of but a single conspiracy to commit those offenses, will not sustain a sentence of more than two years' imprisonment, the maximum penalty for a single violation of the conspiracy statute. P. 52.

2. The limitation applicable to a prosecution for violation of § 37 of the Criminal Code, where the object of the conspiracy is to evade or defeat the payment of a federal tax, is not the three-year period applicable generally to criminal offenses, but the six-year period specifically prescribed by § 3748(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. P. 54.

3. A contention of the petitioner that his plea of former jeopardy should have been sustained is not passed upon here, since the earlier indictment to which he pleaded guilty, and which he argues charged the same offense as that of which he was convicted in this case, is not a part of the record. P. 55.

125 F.2d 283 reversed.

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Certiorari, 316 U.S. 653, to review the affirmance of sentences upon convictions of conspiracy.

STONE, J., lead opinion

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE STONE delivered the opinion of the Court.

The questions for decision are: (1) whether a conviction upon the several counts of an indictment, each charging conspiracy to violate a different provision of the Internal Revenue laws, where the jury's verdict is supported by evidence of but a single conspiracy, will sustain a sentence of more than two years' imprisonment, the maximum penalty for a single violation of the conspiracy statute, and (2) whether the six-year period of limitation prescribed by § 3748(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, is applicable to offenses arising under § 37 of the Criminal Code, 18 U.S.C. 88 (the conspiracy statute) where the object of the conspiracy is to evade or defeat the payment of a federal tax.

Petitioners were indicted, with others, on seven counts, each charging a conspiracy to violate a separate and distinct internal revenue law of the United States.1 On the trial, there was evidence from which the jury could have found that, for a considerable period of time, petitioners, with others, collaborated in the illicit manufacture, transportation,

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and distribution of distilled spirits involving the violations of statute mentioned in the several counts of the indictment. At the close of the trial, petitioners renewed a motion which they had made at its beginning to require the Government to elect one of the seven counts of the indictment upon which to proceed, contending that the proof could not and did not establish more than one agreement. In response, the Government's attorney took the position that the seven counts of the indictment charged as distinct offenses the several illegal objects of one continuing conspiracy, that, if the jury found such a conspiracy, it might find the defendants guilty of as many offenses as it had illegal objects, and that, for each such offense, the two-year statutory penalty could be imposed.

The trial judge submitted the case to the jury on that theory. The jury returned a general verdict finding...

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