733 F.2d 1390 (10th Cir. 1984), 82-2537, United States v. Gatewood

Docket Nº:82-2537.
Citation:733 F.2d 1390
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Eugene D. GATEWOOD, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:May 07, 1984
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
 
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Page 1390

733 F.2d 1390 (10th Cir. 1984)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Eugene D. GATEWOOD, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 82-2537.

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

May 7, 1984

Rehearing Denied May 25, 1984.

Page 1391

Vicki Mandell-King, Asst. Federal Public Defender, D. Colo., Denver, Colo. (Michael G. Katz, Federal Public Defender, D. Colo., Denver, Colo., with her on the brief), for defendant-appellant.

William G. Pharo, Asst. U.S. Atty., D. Colo., Denver, Colo. (Robert N. Miller, U.S. Atty., D. Colo., Denver, Colo., with him on the brief), for plaintiff-appellee.

Before SETH, Chief Judge, McKAY, Circuit Judge, and MECHEM, Senior District Judge. [*]

MECHEM, Senior District Judge.

Eugene D. Gatewood appeals from his convictions on two counts charging mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1341. The district court approved defendant's waiver of jury trial, and tried the case without a jury. Appellant was acquitted on a third count charging him with knowingly making a false material declaration in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1623. Gatewood argues on appeal that the evidence was insufficient to

Page 1392

sustain the convictions of mail fraud. We affirm.

I.

Our consideration of the issue raised on appeal is limited to determining whether the verdict of the court is supported by the evidence. We must view the evidence, and reasonable inferences drawn from it, in the light most favorable to the prosecution. United States v. Dinneen, 463 F.2d 1036, 1038 (10th Cir.1972); Seefeldt v. United States, 183 F.2d 713, 715 (10th Cir.1950). In accordance with this standard, the evidence shows the following.

On the evening of February 12, 1979, Gatewood contacted the Denver Police Department and reported that his residence had been burglarized sometime during the previous weekend while he and his family were out of town. Police officers investigating the burglary found that the cover of the electric garage door opener had been pried open, and that the wires had apparently been crossed, thus opening the garage. The lock on a door leading from the garage to the kitchen had been sprung with a screwdriver. Most of the furniture had been removed from inside the house, and a set of dual wheeled tire tracks was observed in the garage. It appeared to Officer Costigan, an investigating detective who testified at trial, that the house had essentially been "cleaned out". A neighbor of the Gatewood's had told him that she had observed a U-Haul truck parked in the Gatewood's driveway during the weekend and had seen a man in painter's clothing going to that truck. Gatewood reported to the police that over $15,000 worth of property, including furniture, clothing, jewelry and camera equipment, had been stolen.

Equitable General Insurance Company (Equitable) had issued a homeowners insurance policy on November 19, 1976 to Mr. and Mrs. Gatewood for their residence. The policy was renewed for the period from November 19, 1978 through November 19, 1979. Gatewood submitted a claim to Equitable for payment for the property stolen in the burglary. In furtherance of his claim, Gatewood mailed an envelope to Equitable which contained a handwritten list of property taken, receipts, canceled checks and photographs. The envelope was postmarked March 5, 1979, Denver, Colorado, and was received by Equitable in Fort Worth, Texas on March 6, 1979. Equitable received a second envelope from Gatewood on May 2, 1979 which contained a completed sworn statement in proof of loss claiming $25,334.48 under the policy.

Much of the...

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