State v. Hintz

Decision Date04 February 1930
Citation200 Wis. 636,229 N.W. 54
PartiesSTATE v. HINTZ.
CourtWisconsin Supreme Court


Appeal from a judgment of the Circuit Court for Waupaca County; Byron B. Park, Circuit Judge. Reversed.

Herman Hintz, the defendant, was convicted of the crime of obtaining money under false pretenses, and appealed.Douglas C. Gregg, of Waukegan, Ill., and Leo Vaudreuil, of Kenosha, for appellant.

John W. Reynolds, Atty. Gen., J. E. Messerschmidt, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Lloyd D. Smith, Dist. Atty., of Waupaca, for the State.


In December, 1917, the defendant, Herman Hintz, acquired title to nine forties of land in Juneau county. This land was located in and comprized a part of the Little Yellow drainage district. It was incumbered by a mortgage in the amount of $2,400. In January, 1918, he applied to Albert Oehlke, a farmer living in Waushara county, who was unacquainted with the land, for a loan of $3,000, to be secured by a mortgage on said land. Oehlke and the defendant were acquaintances of many years' standing, having at one time lived as neighbors in the same farming community. There is evidence to show, and sufficient to authorize the jury to find, that Hintz represented to Oehlke that the land was a clay loam soil and that he had paid $12,000 therefor. Oehlke loaned Hintz $3,000, taking as security therefor a mortgage on said tract of land. The loan was for either two or three years. However, it was extended or permitted to run from year to year by agreement of the parties until 1923, when Hintz conveyed the land to one Nicholas J. Daleiden, after which no further extensions were granted. Shortly after the sale of the land by Hintz to Daleiden, Oehlke made an investigation of the land and found that the soil was of a very poor quality of white sand, and concluded that it was worthless, for which reason he made no attempt to foreclose the mortgage. He secured a personal judgment against Hintz, which was never paid, and thereafter procured his arrest upon the charge of obtaining money under false pretenses, of which he was convicted.

[1][2] The crime of obtaining money under false pretenses involves at least four essential elements: (1) There must be an intention to defraud; (2) there must be an actual fraud committed; (3) false pretenses must be used for the purpose of perpetrating the fraud; and (4) the fraud must be accomplished by means of the false pretenses made use of for that purpose. Bates v. State, 124 Wis. 612, 103 N. W. 251, 4 Ann. Cas. 365;Clawson v. State, 129 Wis. 650, 109 N. W. 578, 116 Am. St. Rep. 972, 9 Ann. Cas. 966;Krenn v. State, 157 Wis. 439, 147 N. W. 367;State ex rel. Labuwi v. Hathaway, 168 Wis. 518, 170 N. W. 654;Corscot v. State, 178 Wis. 661, 190 N. W. 465;Palotta v. State, 184 Wis. 290, 199 N. W. 72. The false pretenses charged and proved in this case consisted of the representation made by Hintz to Oehlke that the land was a clay loam soil, and that he (Hintz) had paid $12,000 therefor. These representations, if false, constituted the essential false pretense necessary to constitute the crime if the other ingredients of the crime be established. Bates v. State, 124 Wis. 612, 103 N. W. 251, 4 Ann. Cas. 365;People v. Cummings, 123 Cal. 269, 55 P. 898. The evidence is sufficient to justify a finding of the jury that these representations were made. There is no contention that Oehlke was not in fact defrauded. It is contended, however, that the evidence does not establish any intent on the part of Hintz to defraud Oehlke.

[3][4] While the intent to defraud is an essential element of the crime of obtaining property by false pretenses, and must be proved by the state, it need not be proved by direct and positive evidence. It may be inferred from all the circumstances proved. State v. Loesch (Mo. Sup.) 180 S. W. 875. Where all of the other elements of the crime are proved, it is generally held that the intent to defraud may be inferred from the circumstances proved. State v. Cooper, 169 Iowa, 571, 151 N. W. 835;State v. Hooker, 99 Wash. 661, 170 P. 374. An examination of many cases, in which convictions for this offense are reviewed, reveals very few instances where the sufficiency of the evidence to establish the intent has been challenged. It seems generally to be assumed that proof of the other elements of the crime is sufficient to justify an inference that an intent to defraud existed. In fact, this principle is not challenged by the defendant, but he contends that there is other evidence in the case which conclusively negatives such an intent. The evidence thus relied upon may be briefly summarized as follows: The money secured by Hintz from Oehlke was used in part for the purpose of paying off an existing $2,400 mortgage on the land during the summer of 1918. For a period of about four months in 1918 Hintz lived on the land and farmed about 60 acres thereof. During the summer of 1919 the same 60 acres were under cultivation by a renter. During these two seasons fairly good crops wer raised on the land. Hintz promptly paid the interest on the loan until he conveyed the premises in 1923, at which time the grantee assumed and agreed to pay the mortgage. He also faithfully paid the taxes assessed upon the land together with the drainage assessments until his conveyance thereof in 1923. There is also evidence in the case that the market value of the land was $40 per acre. In fact, that is the only evidence concerning the value of the land in 1918. Of course, that was opinion evidence to which the...

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28 cases
  • State v. Wyss
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • 28 Junio 1985 be established before a new trial would be ordered. See Paladino v. State, 187 Wis. 605, 606, 205 N.W. 320 (1925); State v. Hintz, 200 Wis. 636, 642, 229 N.W. 54 (1930). Lock unequivocally established the rule to be followed for determining when a miscarriage of justice, under the second......
  • State v. Kucharski
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • 7 Julio 2015
    ...comprised” the required burden of proof—determinations that are unquestionably issues of fact, not law. By way of illustration, in State v. Hintz,17 a case that considered a sufficiency of the evidence challenge and discretionary reversal, we acknowledged, as we remanded for a new trial, th......
  • Parke v. State
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • 7 Abril 1931
    ...When there is a conflict of evidence the weight thereof is for the determination of the jury. As was recently said in State v. Hintz, 200 Wis. 636, 641, 229 N. W. 54, 56: “The power of the court to disturb the finding of the jury ends with the discovery of evidence to sustain the verdict. I......
  • State v. Lombardi
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • 1 Diciembre 1959
    ...a verdict in a criminal case it cannot be disturbed on appeal. Imperio v. State, 1913, 153 Wis. 455, 141 N.W. 241; State v. Hintz, 1930, 200 Wis. 636, 229 N.W. 54; Parke v. State, 1931, 204 Wis. 443, 235 N.W. 775; State v. Fricke, 1934, 215 Wis. 661, 255 N.W. On the drunken driving arrests ......
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