United States v. Heithaus

Decision Date10 April 1967
Docket NumberNo. 15961.,15961.
Citation377 F.2d 484
PartiesUNITED STATES of America v. Louis H. HEITHAUS and Sheldon Selikoff. Sheldon Selikoff, Appellant.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit

Michael A. Querques, Orange, N. J. (Harvey Weissbard, Orange, N. J., on the brief), for appellant.

Jerome D. Schwitzer, Asst. U. S. Atty., Newark, N. J. (David M. Satz, Jr., U. S. Atty., Newark, N. J., on the brief), for appellee.

Before HASTIE, GANEY and SEITZ, Circuit Judges.

OPINION OF THE COURT

HASTIE, Circuit Judge.

This is an appeal by Sheldon Selikoff, one of several defendants, from a conviction of willfully making and publishing, or causing to be made and published, false statements for the purpose of obtaining Federal Housing Association insured home improvement loans, in violation of section 1010 of Title 18, United States Code. The indictment contains several counts based upon various misrepresentations in loan applications by different borrowers. The court imposed a fine of $1,000 on one count and a suspended sentence with probation for two years on the other counts. On this appeal Selikoff complains that the proof was insufficient to take the case to the jury and that certain statements in the prosecutor's summation constituted reversible error.

Each loan resulted from essentially the same sequence of events. A co-defendant, Racanelli, published a series of advertisements in a White Plains, New York, newspaper soliciting the business of would-be applicants for home improvement loans. The co-defendant would take or send the person who answered the advertisement to Selikoff. Selikoff then asked the prospective borrower questions to obtain information necessary or appropriate for inclusion in a loan application and, as answers were given, he made notations on what was described as a "work sheet". In addition, he had the applicant sign a blank application form. There was evidence that the application, thus signed in blank, and the "work sheet" were then sent to a Michael Goldberg who completed the application and transmitted it to a lending bank. In each case covered by the indictment the completed application contained information substantially different from that which the borrower had given Selikoff with reference to the borrower's circumstances or the purpose for which the loan was desired.

The bank made each loan by delivering to Goldberg a check payable to the borrower for the amount of the loan. The amount loaned was $3,500 in each case covered by this indictment. When the check reached Selikoff or his business partner Heithaus, one of them would deliver it to the borrower, at the same time requiring the borrower to pay him a fee of $600. There was evidence that $100 of each fee was distributed to Racanelli, $125 to Goldberg and the remaining $375 retained by Selikoff and his business partner.

Selikoff contends that this evidence was insufficient to justify a finding that he was party to or knowingly aided and abetted1 the inclusion of false statements in the loan applications. We find no merit in that contention. Selikoff's conduct in charging a very large, indeed legally excessive, fee for obtaining each loan, his division of the fee with Goldberg, and his retention of most of the fee for himself and his partner, all are some indication that he was party to a scheme of misrepresentation with Goldberg who actually inscribed the false statements in the loan applications. This inference is strengthened by the consideration that no legitimate business reason appears to explain Selikoff's consistent failure to write the correct information in the application form before signature by the applicant or at least before forwarding it to Goldberg. Moreover, in some cases the...

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16 cases
  • United States v. Cianciulli, Crim. No. 79-165-1
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • December 17, 1979
    ...response does not fall within Griffin v. California, supra. United States v. Giuliano, 383 F.2d 30 (3d Cir. 1967); United States v. Heithaus, 377 F.2d 484 (3d Cir. 1967). 421 F.2d at 1230. See also U. S. v. Bartemio, 547 F.2d 341, 346 (7th Cir. 1974) ("Likewise, we find that the government'......
  • State v. Holland
    • United States
    • New Jersey Supreme Court
    • December 3, 1971
    ...various conjectures by defense counsel. This clearly did not exceed the leeway which the law affords. Cf. United States v. Heithaus, 377 F.2d 484, 486 (3 Cir. 1967); State v. Angeleri, 51 N.J. 382, 386, 241 A.2d 3, cert. denied, 393 U.S. 951, 89 S.Ct. 372, 21 L.Ed.2d 362 (1968). All in all,......
  • United States ex rel. Mitchell v. Pinto
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • February 3, 1971
    ...refutation of such comment as was prosecutors' wont under sanction of New Jersey law at the time of trial. 3 See United States v. Heithaus, 3d Cir. 1967, 377 F.2d 484; United States v. Hephner, 7th Cir. 1969, 410 F.2d 930; United States ex rel. Miller v. Follette, 2nd Cir. 1968, 397 F.2d 36......
  • United States v. Clearfield
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • April 25, 1973
    ...offense in question. This rule was applied in a § 1010 case, where aiding and abetting was also not charged, in United States v. Heithaus, 377 F.2d 484 (3d Cir. 1967). Here, of course, the indictment charged violations of both sections 1001 and ...
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