522 F.2d 218 (7th Cir. 1975), 74-1467, United States v. Braverman

Docket Nº74-1467.
Citation522 F.2d 218
Party NameUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Charles BRAVERMAN, Defendant-Appellant.
Case DateJune 16, 1975
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

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522 F.2d 218 (7th Cir. 1975)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,


Charles BRAVERMAN, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 74-1467.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

June 16, 1975

Argued Nov. 7, 1974.

Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc Denied July 16, 1975.

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Thomas P. Sullivan, Chicago, Ill., for defendant-appellant.

James R. Thompson, U. S. Atty., Gary L. Starkman and Jeremy D. Margolis, Asst. U. S. Attys., Chicago, Ill., for plaintiff-appellee.

Before CUMMINGS and PELL, Circuit Judges, and CAMPBELL, Senior District Judge. [*]

PELL, Circuit Judge.

The defendant-appellant Charles Braverman was charged in a six-count indictment with conspiracy and five substantive counts arising from the procurement of two fraudulent loans. After a jury found Braverman guilty on all six counts, the district court judge, who had reserved ruling on Braverman's motion for judgment of acquittal, found that the Government had failed to prove four accessory counts (Counts 2 through 5) and granted Braverman's motion on these counts. Braverman now appeals from his conviction on the remaining Counts 1 and 6, which charged, respectively, conspiracy and making false statements to a bank in order to obtain two loans, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1014. The major issues raised on appeal are: (1) whether the evidence was sufficient to prove Braverman intended to defraud the bank; (2) whether the evidence was sufficient to prove Braverman's involvement in the conspiracy; (3) whether the district court erred in deferring its ruling on Braverman's motion for judgment of acquittal; (4) whether the evidence was sufficient to show the materiality of the financial statement; and (5) whether the district judge erred in replaying the tape of the jury instructions and permitting the jury to take notes during this time.

1. Braverman contends, with respect to both Counts 1 and 6, that the evidence was insufficient to prove that he intended to defraud the Steel City National Bank.

The intent of the defendant, in a case such as this, may, of course, be inferred from the facts and circumstances in proof. United States v. Acree, 466 F.2d 1114, 1117 (10th Cir. 1972), Cert. denied, 410 U.S. 913, 93 S.Ct. 962, 35 L.Ed.2d 278 (1973). Viewing the evidence here, as we must, in the light most favorable to the Government, we find that the evidence was more than sufficient to support the jury's verdict.

Braverman, a broker on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, agreed to use a fictitious name, "Peter Weis," to secure a $30,000 bank loan for his insolvent friend Robert Ness. After being assured by Ness that Ness could "handle" such a loan at the bank, Braverman signed a blank bank note with the fictitious

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name, see United States v. Iannelli, 461 F.2d 483 (2d Cir. 1972), Cert. denied, 409 U.S. 980, 93 S.Ct. 310, 34 L.Ed.2d 243 and arranged for a mailing address where bank notices could be mailed.

The conditions under which the loan was granted, moreover, were highly unusual. A few days after Braverman had signed the blank note but before any financial statement was filed with the bank, Ness told Braverman that he could expect loan approval in a day. Later when Braverman and Ness did "get together" to prepare a financial statement, Braverman simply signed the blank statement with the fictitious name and left it to the insolvent Ness to fill in the financial data. 1 At no time did Braverman provide Ness with any information concerning his actual financial situation.

Later, when the note became due, it was renewed by using renewal notes signed by Braverman in the fictitious name.

Furthermore, when difficulties arose with regard to the false address given for Peter Weis, Braverman arranged for a second false address, that of his nephew. 2 When questioned by his nephew about the bank correspondence, Braverman simply told him to "throw it out."

The evidence also indicated that although Braverman originally refused to secure a second "Peter Weis" loan for Ness, funds from that $20,000 loan, once secured by Ness, were used to place a particular commodities account in a credit position. Braverman's handling of this account had generated over $3,500 in commissions for him until a deficit position forced a halt to the trading. Once restored to a credit...

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