State v. Farrah

Citation161 Conn. 43,282 A.2d 879
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court
Decision Date30 March 1971
PartiesSTATE of Connecticut v. George FARRAH.

Raymond W. Ganim, Bridgeport, with whom, on the brief, was Alan Neigher, Bridgeport, for appellant (defendant).

George D. Stoughton, Chief Asst. State's Atty., with whom, on the brief, was John D. LaBelle, State's Atty., for appellee (state).


COTTER, Associate Justice.

The defendant was convicted on two counts, each charging the crime of obtaining money by false pretenses in violation of § 53-360 of the General Statutes. Error is assigned in the court's conclusion that upon all the evidence the defendant was guilty of the crimes charged beyond a reasonable doubt and that the court erred 'in concluding that the failure to do an act promised violated the provisions' of the statute under which he was charged. The intended meaning of the defendant's claim of error under the second assignment requires some discussion but the ultimate issue is presented by his claim that he could not be found guilty of the crimes charged upon all of the evidence.

In considering the claim that the court below was in error in concluding that the defendant was guilty as charged beyond a reasonable doubt, we must decide whether upon all the evidence the court could reasonably have reached the conclusion that the defendant was guilty of obtaining money by false pretenses. State v. Davis, 158 Conn. 341, 346, 260 A.2d 587.

There was evidence that the complaining witness, Rachel Pietrini, was advised by the defendant to invest funds in mortgage notes and that she gave him s4628.72 for which she received a note executed by the Fardorf Corporation, which the defendant led her to believe was a second mortgage note on certain property located on Prospect Avenue. The evidence further discloses that on January 12, 1967, Pietrini gave the defendant.$1210 to apply toward the purchase of another note, and thereafter Pietrini gave him $3399.86 and received a second note in return, also from the Fardorf Corporation, which she thought was a mortgage note because the defendant had told her he would give her a second mortgage on another parcel of property located on Prospect Avenue. The Fardorf Corporation was a family corporation with the defendant as president and his wife and sister as vice-president and secretary respectively. There was additional evidence that no mortgage was executed nor did Pietrini ever receive any other documents although the defendant was familiar with mortgages, and the defendant also testifid that he could not give her a valid mortgage on the two properties because of an impending foreclosure. Finally, the notes which the defendant gave to Pietrini were admitted in evidence as full exhibits and each is entitled (Mortgage Note'. The last paragraph of each note begins with the words: 'This note is secured by a mortgage note'. There was ample evidence to support the court's conclusion that the defendant was guilty on both counts beyond a reasonable doubt. The court concluded that the defendant twice obtained sums of money from Pietrini through false pretenses and devices and that he delivered to her in each instance a fraudulent document labeled a mortgage note which he led her to believe was a valid second mortgage on premises owned by him or his corporation; that no valid mortgage note or mortgage was given in either case; that no valid mortgage could have been given by the defendant or his corporation; that the statements made by the defendant were untrue and calculated to mislead and did mislead Pietrini; that the statements and representations made by the defendant related to an existing fact; that the statements and representations made by the defendant were not a promise to do something in the future; and that he intended to defraud his victim. These conclusions refute the claim of the defendant as stated in his second assignment of error if we adopt the precise language used therein. The brief of the defendant, however, indicates that the defendant meant to say that the state did not present 'sufficient evidence for the court to conclude that the alleged pretense related to an existing or past fact.' The assignments of error go to the root of the criminal charges and raise the issue whether any false pretenses were established beyond a reasonable doubt.

The statute under which the defendant was charged provides that '(a)ny person who, by false token, pretense or device, obtains from another any valuable thing * * * with intent to defraud him or any other person * * * shall be fined * * * or imprisoned'. General Statutes § 53-360. To support a conviction under the statute the evidence must be sufficient to establish the essential ingredients of the crime charged. In this case this would include the presence of the necessary elements (1) that a false representation or statement of a past or existing fact was made by the accused; (2) that in making the representation he knew of its falsity; (3) that the accused intended to defraud or deceive; (4) that the party to whom the representation was made was in fact induced thereby to act to her injury; and (5) that the false representation or statement was the effective cause of the accused receiving something of value without compensation. State v. Robington, 137 Conn. 140, 142, 75 A.2d 394; Bradley v. Oviatt, 86 Conn. 63, 67, 84 A. 321; 35 C.J.S. False Pretenses § 6; 32 Am.Jur.2d, False Pretenses, § 12.

There was evidence from which the court could conclude that the representations made by the defendant and upon which...

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22 cases
  • State v. Piskorski
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • June 19, 1979
    ...The trier, as the sole judge of the credibility of a witness; State v. Mitchell, 169 Conn. 161, 170, 362 A.2d 808; State v. Farrah, 161 Conn. 43, 49, 282 A.2d 879; was, in the present case, fully apprised of the facts claimed by the defendant to be relevant to that assessment with regard to......
  • State v. Coleman
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • October 22, 1974
    ...or by implication and may consist of any act, word, symbol, or token calculated and intended to deceive.' State v. Farrah, 161 Conn. 43, 49-50, 282 A.2d 879, 881-882. They could also reasonably infer intent to defraud by the use of another person's driver's license, and infer guilty knowled......
  • State v. Paige
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • July 21, 2009
    ...pretense or device, he obtains from another any property, with intent to defraud him or any other person." We find State v. Farrah, 161 Conn. 43, 282 A.2d 879 (1971), instructive. In Farrah, our Supreme Court applied General Statutes § 53-360, the predecessor to § 53a-119(2), which read, "[......
  • State v. Ruiz
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • July 6, 1976
    ...Conn. 93, 95, 38 A.2d 5.' State v. Smith, 157 Conn. 351, 354, 254 A.2d 447, 448; see also General Statutes § 53a-3(11); State v. Farrah, 161 Conn. 43, 49, 282 A.2d 879. The jury were amply justified in finding from the evidence that the defendant had the specific intent to cause physical in......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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