Frederick Hyde v. United States 23 24, 1911, No. 447

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtMcKenna
Citation32 S.Ct. 793,225 U.S. 347,56 L.Ed. 1114
PartiesFREDERICK A. HYDE and Joost H. Schneider, Petitioners, v. UNITED STATES. Argued October 23 and 24, 1911. Ordered for reargument before full bench
Docket NumberNo. 447
Decision Date18 December 1911

225 U.S. 347
32 S.Ct. 793
56 L.Ed. 1114
FREDERICK A. HYDE and Joost H. Schneider, Petitioners,

v.

UNITED STATES.

No. 447.
Argued October 23 and 24, 1911.

Ordered for reargument before full bench December 18, 1911.

Reargued May 3, 1912.
Decided June 10, 1912.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 347-349 intentionally omitted]

Page 349

Mr. A. S. Worthington for petitioners.

Solicitor General Lehmann for respondent.

Mr. Justice McKenna delivered the opinion of the court:

This writ brings up for review a judgment of the court of appeals of the District of Columbia, affirming a conviction of petitioners for the crime of conspiracy.

The main question in the case is the jurisdiction of the supreme court of the District of Columbia, where the trial and conviction were had, depending upon the place where the conspiracy, if any, was formed and the overt acts, if any, were done to effect its purpose. What the indictment charges is a fundamental element in the question.

Before proceeding to consider the indictment it may be well to state the laws and conditions to which the conspiracy charged in the indictment relates. By acts of Congress dated, respectively, March 3, 1853 (10 Stat. at L. 246, chap. 145), and February 14, 1859 (11 Stat. at L. 383, chap. 33), the states of California and Oregon were granted, for the purpose of public schools, all of sections 16 and 32 in each township, with certain exceptions unimportant to mention. The states authorized the sale of the land so granted for $1.25 per acre, California limiting the right of pur-

Page 350

chase by one person (of land not suitable for cultivation) to 640 acres. The limitation in Oregon was 320 acres. The states required applicants to be citizens of the United States and of the states, that the purchases be for their own benefit, and a statement from each applicant that he had made no contract for the sale or disposition of the lands applied for.

Subsequent to these grants and prior to the year 1897 most of the lands had been taken up by settlers. Those not taken up were in the mountainous regions and were regarded as valueless.

By an act of Congress approved March 3, 1891 (26 Stat. at L. 1103, chap. 561, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 1537), the President was authorized to create forest reservations, and by a subsequent act (30 Stat. at L. 36, chap. 2, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 1541), it was provided 'that in cases in which a tract covered by an unperfected bona fide claim or by a patent is included within the limits of a public forest reservation, the settler or owner thereof may, if he desires to do so, relinquish the tract to the government, and may select in lieu thereof a tract of vacant land open to settlement, not exceeding in area the tract covered by his claim or patent.'

The charge of the indictment is that the defendants in the case conspired to use the privilege of this act after fraudulently acquiring school sections from California and Oregon, and conspired to corrupt or use the officers of the General Land Office in Washington to make or facilitate the selection in exchange for such sections lands of the United States, and thereby defraud the United States.

Its allegations, omitting repetitions and redundancies, are as follows:

Frederick A. Hyde and John A. Benson were engaged from the 24th of October, 1901, until the 1st of February, 1904, in the city of San Francisco, state of California, in the business of obtaining from the United States and appropriating, in the manner hereinafter set forth, the possession and use of and title to public lands of the United

Page 351

States outside forest reserves established under the laws of the United States, in exchange for and in lieu of lands lying within such reserves and known as school lands, by them obtained from the states of California and Oregon in the manner hereinafter set forth. Henry P. Dimond and Joost H. Schneider were, during said periods, employees of Hyde and Benson in the matter of their business, Dimond as agent and attorney and Schneider as agent. Woodford D. Harlan and William E. Valk were, before and during such period, employees of the United States, holding official positions in the General Land Office at the city of Washington, in the District of Columbia, paid salaries as such, and, respectively, charged with duties pertaining to the disposal of the public lands lying outside of forest reserves established under the laws of the United States and open to selection under said laws, in exchange for and in lieu of lands within such reserves.

Benjamin F. Allen was, before and during such period, an employee of the United States, that is, a forest superintendent, and Grant I. Taggart a forest supervisor.

Hyde, Benson, Dimond, and Schneider during such period, to wit, on the 30th day of December, 1901, at Washington, District of Columbia, unlawfully did conspire, combine, and confederate together, and with other persons unknown, to defraud the United States out of the possession and use of and title to divers tracts of the public lands of the United States open and to be opened to selection in lieu of lands within forest reserves established and to be established in California and Oregon, by means of false and fraudulent practices whereby Hyde and Benson were to obtain fraudulently from those states title to and possession of school lands within the limits of such reserves which were open to purchase from those states by residents thereof, being citizens of the United States or having declared their intention to become such, under the laws thereof, in quantities for each resident not exceeding 640

Page 352

acres in California and 320 acres in Oregon, upon appropriate application, supported by affidavit showing his qualifications to make such purchase, and, amongst other things (as before and during the said period was required by the laws of the said states), his intention to purchase in good faith and for his own benefit, and that he had made no contract or agreement to sell the same. These applications were to be made in the names of fictitious persons and in the names of persons not really desiring or qualified to purchase said lands. The use of the last-mentioned names for such purpose Hyde and Benson were to procure by paying or causing to be paid to such persons small sums of money, and by falsely representing or causing to be represented to some of them that they were merely disposing of their rights to purchase such school lands.

The proposed use of fictitious affidavits is set out at considerable length, with the names that were used, the purpose being charged to obtain the lands according to the conspiracy detailed, obtain title from the United States with the intention of disposing of the same to the general public, and to defraud the United States 'to the profit, gain, and use of themselves.'

Hyde and Benson were, during said period, to induce and procure, and take advantage of the fact that they had induced and procured, the said Woodford D. Harlan and William E. Valk, by paying them respectively divers sums of money for that purpose, corruptly to furnish information concerning the status in the General Land Office of all matters pertaining to their said business, and especially to their false and fraudulent selections, and to expedite, contrary to their duty, the matters which should be pending in the Land Office pertaining to their business and the examination of such selections made and to be made by Hyde and Benson, and by securing the approval thereof in advance and otherwise favoring and assisting Hyde and Benson in their fraudulent practices. This

Page 353

charge is dwelt upon at some length, and it is charged, besides, that Allen, the forest superintendent, and Taggart, the forest supervisor, had been and were to be corrupted, whereby they were to give such advice and information as to including or not including lands within a forest reserve as should be to the interest of Hyde and Benson.

Hyde, Benson, Dimond, and Schneider, as a part of their conspiracy, were to secure by the means detailed and other means too numerous and diverse to be described, the establishment of forest reserves in California and Oregon in such localities in those states as would best effect the object of the conspiracy, by reason of the fact that large quantities of school lands in such localities were still undisposed of and open to purchase from said states, respectively.

Dimond, for money and other valuable considerations paid by Hyde and Benson, was, as attorney, to aid and assist Hyde and Benson in their business by appearing in their behalf before the appropriate officers of the Department of the Interior and of the General Land Office, from time to time, to urge speedy action by those officers upon the matters there pending pertaining to their said business, and to further said business in the manner hereinafter shown, he, Dimond, knowing full well the fraudulent character of the business.

Schneider, in the capacity of employee of Hyde and Benson, was to aid and assist them by obtaining in the states of California and Oregon the fictitious affidavits and the affidavits of those persons who would permit the use of their names as stated, he knowing, while so assisting, the fraudulent character of the applications and the purpose for which they and the affidavits were to be used.

The indictment contains the description of the lands which it was the object of the conspiracy to secure, amounting to 6,800 acres, of which 3,400 acres were selected in

Page 354

the name of C. W. Clarke; all of the lands being in forest reserves then lately before established under the laws of the United States.

On December 30, 1901, Dimond entered his appearance in the General Land Office as attorney for Clarke.

The other counts in the indictment, numbering 41, are substantially alike in their general allegations, differing as to their...

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766 practice notes
  • In re GEO Specialty Chems. Ltd., Case No.: 04–19148(RG) (Jointly Administered)
    • United States
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of New Jersey
    • December 4, 2017
    ...rejoins, it remains jointly and severally liable for all of the conspirators' conduct. Id. at 11 (citing Hyde v. United States, 225 U.S. 347, 370–72, 32 S.Ct. 793, 56 L.Ed. 1114 (1912) ). DP Plaintiffs contend that "it is well established that a discharge from bankruptcy, such as GEO's disc......
  • U.S. v. Fernandez-Antonia, Docket No. 01-1030.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • January 29, 2002
    ...criminal end to be attained." People v. Werblow, 241 N.Y. 55, 61, 148 N.E. 786, 789 (1925) (Cardozo, J.) (citing Hyde v. United States, 225 U.S. 347, 387, 32 S.Ct. 793, 56 L.Ed. 1114 (1912) (Holmes, J., dissenting)). This principle has been repeated time and again by New York courts. See Pe......
  • Tanner v. United States, No. 86-177
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 22, 1987
    ...juror testimony to impeach a verdict. McDonald v. Pless, 238 U.S. 264, 35 S.Ct. 783, 59 L.Ed. 1300 (1915); Hyde v. United States, 225 U.S. 347, 384, 32 S.Ct. 793, 808, 56 L.Ed. 1114 (1912). Lower courts used this external/internal distinction to identify those instances in which juror testi......
  • United States v. Agueci, No. 99
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • November 8, 1962
    ...Here, not only was there no conclusive evidence of Valachi's affirmative withdrawal from the conspiracy, see Hyde v. United States, 225 U.S. 347, 369, 32 S. Ct. 793, 56 L.Ed. 1114 (1912); United States v. Stromberg, supra; United States v. Cohen, 145 F.2d 82, 90 (2d Cir., 1944), cert. denie......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
774 cases
  • In re GEO Specialty Chems. Ltd., Case No.: 04–19148(RG) (Jointly Administered)
    • United States
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of New Jersey
    • December 4, 2017
    ...rejoins, it remains jointly and severally liable for all of the conspirators' conduct. Id. at 11 (citing Hyde v. United States, 225 U.S. 347, 370–72, 32 S.Ct. 793, 56 L.Ed. 1114 (1912) ). DP Plaintiffs contend that "it is well established that a discharge from bankruptcy, such as GEO's disc......
  • U.S. v. Fernandez-Antonia, Docket No. 01-1030.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • January 29, 2002
    ...criminal end to be attained." People v. Werblow, 241 N.Y. 55, 61, 148 N.E. 786, 789 (1925) (Cardozo, J.) (citing Hyde v. United States, 225 U.S. 347, 387, 32 S.Ct. 793, 56 L.Ed. 1114 (1912) (Holmes, J., dissenting)). This principle has been repeated time and again by New York courts. See Pe......
  • Tanner v. United States, No. 86-177
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 22, 1987
    ...juror testimony to impeach a verdict. McDonald v. Pless, 238 U.S. 264, 35 S.Ct. 783, 59 L.Ed. 1300 (1915); Hyde v. United States, 225 U.S. 347, 384, 32 S.Ct. 793, 808, 56 L.Ed. 1114 (1912). Lower courts used this external/internal distinction to identify those instances in which juror testi......
  • United States v. Agueci, No. 99
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • November 8, 1962
    ...Here, not only was there no conclusive evidence of Valachi's affirmative withdrawal from the conspiracy, see Hyde v. United States, 225 U.S. 347, 369, 32 S. Ct. 793, 56 L.Ed. 1114 (1912); United States v. Stromberg, supra; United States v. Cohen, 145 F.2d 82, 90 (2d Cir., 1944), cert. denie......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 books & journal articles
  • TAX VIOLATIONS
    • United States
    • American Criminal Law Review Nbr. 58-3, July 2021
    • July 1, 2021
    ...568 U.S. 106, 110 (2013) (holding that a defendant bears the burden of proving a withdrawal defense). 358. See Hyde v. United States, 225 U.S. 347, 369–70 (1912) (holding that a member of a conspiracy is still considered a member if his associates commit overt acts before the statute of lim......
  • ANTITRUST VIOLATIONS
    • United States
    • American Criminal Law Review Nbr. 58-3, July 2021
    • July 1, 2021
    ...430–31 (discussing the defendant’s withdrawal-from-conspiracy defense). 126. See Smith, 568 U.S. at 112–13 (quoting Hyde v. United States, 225 U.S. 347, 369 (1911)) (f‌inding that the defendant must demonstrate “aff‌irmative action . . . to disavow or defeat the purpose of the conspiracy”).......

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