376 F.2d 654 (10th Cir. 1967), 8870, Kreuter v. United States

Docket Nº:8870.
Citation:376 F.2d 654
Party Name:Gottfried William KREUTER, Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
Case Date:May 04, 1967
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Page 654

376 F.2d 654 (10th Cir. 1967)

Gottfried William KREUTER, Appellant,


UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.

No. 8870.

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit.

May 4, 1967

Rehearing Denied June 12, 1967.

Page 655

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 656

Robert C. Hanna (of Hanna & Mercer), Albuquerque, N.M., for appellant.

Lewis O. Campbell, Asst. U.S. Atty. (John Quinn, U.S. Atty., and John A. Babington, Asst. U.S. Atty., Albuquerque, N.M., on brief), for appellee.

Before LEWIS and HICKEY, Circuit Judges, and STANLEY, District Judge.

STANLEY, District Judge.

Kreuter appeals from a sentence imposed after a verdict of guilty on three counts of an indictment charging the interstate transportation of falsely made and forged securities, knowing them to have been forged and falsely made. 18 U.S.C.A. 2314.

The securities involved were three separate Western Union money orders, each drawn on a San Francisco bank and in the amounts, respectively, of $8, 500 (Exhibit 1), $8, 500 (Exhibit 2) and $3, 800 (Exhibit 3). Each purportedly was issued in Las Vegas, Nevada; was on a regular Western Union money order form; was made payable to Kreuter; and bore the signature 'W. B. Hardy' as money order agent. One recited that it had been 'telegraphed from' Los Angeles; one from San Francisco; and one from Tucson. The three money orders bore the numbers of forms which, together with others, had been stolen from the Las Vegas office of Western Union. No person named W. B. Hardy was employed by Western Union, and the money orders were not signed by any authorized agent of Western Union. The money orders therefore were falsely made and forged. Each was negotiated by Kreuter in New Mexico and was transmitted through banking channels to California.

The facts stated thus far were not disputed by Kreuter. Although he did not himself testify at the trial, his version of the manner in which he came into possession of the securities was conveyed to the jury through exculpatory statements made by him to FBI agents who did testify. As related by the agents, Kreuter's story to them was that he had won $30, 000 in a three-day session of poker and gin rummy in a Las Vegas hotel room; that the losers, known to him as J.C., Ned, Ike and Joe, paid him $2, 000 in cash and that Ned left the room and returned with four money orders making up the balance of the amount owing him. Among the money orders were the three here involved. Kreuter insisted in his statements to the agents that he did not know that the money orders were spurious.

Operating from this base, appellant's counsel contended at the trial that the elements of knowledge and intent had not been established beyond a reasonable doubt. In order for the jurors to have agreed with him, it would have been necessary for them to have accepted Kreuter's story to the agents as true. Apparently, the jurors did not believe it.

Appellant now...

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