United States v. Rosenthal, No. 247

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
Writing for the CourtLUMBARD, FEINBERG and OAKES, Circuit
Citation470 F.2d 837
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Charles ROSENTHAL, Defendant-Appellant.
Decision Date11 December 1972
Docket NumberDocket 72-1915.,No. 247

470 F.2d 837 (1972)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,
v.
Charles ROSENTHAL, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 247, Docket 72-1915.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

Argued November 3, 1972.

Decided December 11, 1972.


470 F.2d 838
COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED
470 F.2d 839
Steven B. Duke, New Haven, Conn., for appellant

Jay S. Horowitz, Asst. U. S. Atty. (Whitney North Seymour, Jr., U. S. Atty. for Southern District of New York, Eugene F. Bannigan, Richard J. Davis and Peter F. Rient, Asst. U. S. Attys., on the brief), for appellee.

Before LUMBARD, FEINBERG and OAKES, Circuit Judges.

470 F.2d 840

LUMBARD, Circuit Judge:

Charles Rosenthal was tried before a jury in the Southern District on an eight count indictment. Counts One through Four charged him with attempted evasion of his personal income taxes for the years 1963-1966, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201. Counts Five and Seven charged Rosenthal, as the principal officer and sole owner of Corsair Film Productions, Inc. (Corsair), with failure to file income tax returns on Corsair's behalf for the years 1965 and 1966, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7203 and 18 U.S.C. § 2. Counts Six and Eight charged Rosenthal with attempted evasion of Corsair's income taxes for the years 1965 and 1966, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201 and 18 U.S.C. § 2. At the close of the Government's case, the district judge granted defendant's motion to dismiss Count Two. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury found Rosenthal guilty on Counts One, Three, Four, and Eight, and not guilty on Count Six.1 Thus, the jury found Rosenthal guilty of personal income tax evasion for the years 1963, 1965, and 1966 and of corporate tax evasion for the year 1966. The district judge sentenced defendant to concurrent one-year terms of imprisonment for each count to run consecutively to a nine month term imposed after an earlier conviction on the charge of evading personal income taxes for 1962.2 From this latest conviction, Rosenthal appeals to this court.

Rosenthal's alleged unreported income was acquired by a number of legal and illegal means.3 The main source of revenue that the Government argues constituted unreported income was several substantial loans that Rosenthal received from three banks. Although revenue received from loans does not ordinarily constitute income for income tax purposes, the Government contended that the bulk of these loans was income to Rosenthal under the doctrine of James v. United States, 366 U.S. 213, 81 S.Ct. 1052, 6 L.Ed.2d 246 (1966), because they were solicited and received fraudulently in that Rosenthal had no intent to repay them. In addition, Rosenthal was charged with income from his sales of airline tickets that he had procured on credit, allegedly with no intent to pay for them, and from loans that he had received from two private individuals, allegedly with no intent to repay. Rosenthal was also charged with income in the tax years in question from various other sources, including interest, dividends, finder's fees, and constructive dividends from Corsair. None of this additional income was ever reported by Rosenthal on his income tax returns.

Four days before the scheduled commencement of the trial, defendant filed pro se a motion for a continuance to permit preparation for trial and a motion for leave to retain other counsel, or, in the alternative, to proceed pro se. In an affidavit supporting these motions, defendant swore that a bill of particulars had only been received the previous week and that his attorney had, without his knowledge, failed to prepare for the trial and was inexperienced in the trial of criminal cases. The new attorney

470 F.2d 841
whom defendant sought to retain (and who is representing him on this appeal) could not be available on the date that the trial was scheduled to begin and thus, as a result of the state of the criminal calendar, the desired substitution of counsel would have necessitated a five month delay in the trial. Judge McLean denied the motion for a continuance and granted defendant leave to proceed pro se. However, in order to aid Rosenthal in the conduct of his defense, the court assigned the attorney who represented him at the first trial and on this indictment to sit at the counsel table during the trial and to assist the defendant when and if called upon

On this appeal, Rosenthal asserts six grounds for reversal: 1) the Government's evidence was not sufficient for the jury to find that the defendant attempted to evade taxes due and owing, both from himself personally and from Corsair, for the years involved; 2) the district court erroneously excluded evidence offered by the defense; 3) the Government committed prejudicial error in submitting Exhibit 21d to the jury; 4) the district court committed prejudicial errors in its charge to the jury; 5) the court abused its discretion in denying Rosenthal's motion for a continuance; and 6) by permitting Rosenthal to defend pro se, the court denied him his right to counsel. We find no error and we therefore affirm the conviction.

Since the jury found against the defendant, the Government's evidence must be viewed most favorably to the Government, United States v. Marchisio, 344 F.2d 653, 662 (2d Cir. 1965). We conclude that the evidence was sufficient to permit the jury to find that Rosenthal attempted to evade taxes owing from himself personally for the years 1965 and 1966.4 With regard to defendant's personal income, the evidence established that Rosenthal derived substantial income by swindling financial institutions. Indeed, the jury could infer that Rosenthal was in the business of defrauding lending institutions and derived substantial income from this activity. The Government showed that two financial statements submitted by defendant to two different banks in which defendant opened loan accounts indicated that his net worth must have increased by $250,000 in a two day period, a phenomenon that defendant has never attempted to explain. Similarly, defendant admitted that a representation on one statement that his income for the preceding year had been $45,000 should have read $5,500. Moreover, defendant offered no explanation of how stocks posted as collateral at one of the victimized banks proved to be worthless when his account was liquidated. From this evidence, the jury could conclude that Rosenthal obtained the funds from these banks through the use of financial statements containing significant misrepresentations about his net worth and annual income.

The evidence also showed that Rosenthal was incurring obligations that he must have known to be far in excess of his ability to repay. Thus, from the fraudulent practices utilized in getting several of the loans, from the volume of the loans and the fact that defendant was involved in identical borrowing practices with several banks, and from the fact that defendant never did repay the loans, the jury could find that Rosenthal knew he would not be able to, and that he did not intend to, repay the loans at the time that he received the funds.

Defendant's contention is that the evidence merely showed that he was an over-optimistic borrower—not a defrauder or a swindler. He notes that collateral was given and payments were made on some of the loans in question. He argues that, since the Government has charged him with income in the amount of the loans minus his payments

470 F.2d 842
and the value of the collateral, this is placing an impossible reporting burden on the taxpayer; for it requires him to predict how much of the loan will remain unpaid in the future and report this as income in the present. If this were the proper legal theory, it would indeed place an unreasonable burden on the taxpayer, especially at the risk of a tax-evasion prosecution. However, the defendant misperceives the legal theory under which he is charged with income.5

On the evidence, the defendant could be treated as one in the business of fraudulently deriving funds, in the form of loans, from financial institutions. As we have indicated, there was enough evidence for the jury to find that he did not intend to repay the loans at the time he received them. Therefore, the entire amount received in the form of a loan should be treated...

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59 practice notes
  • U.S. v. Taylor, Nos. 330-334 and 336
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • April 13, 1977
    ...in Washington. The granting or denial of a continuance lies within the sound discretion of the trial court. United States v. Rosenthal, 470 F.2d 837, 844 (2d Cir. 1972), cert. denied, 412 U.S. 909, 93 S.Ct. 2298, 36 L.Ed.2d 975 (1973). See also United States ex rel. Martinez v. Mancusi, 455......
  • Parren v. State, No. 91
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1986
    ...v. Vincent, 526 F.2d 131 (2d Cir.1975), cert. denied, 426 U.S. 937, 96 S.Ct. 2652, 49 L.Ed.2d 388 (1976); United States v. Rosenthal, 470 F.2d 837, 844-845 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 412 U.S. 909, 93 S.Ct. 2298, 36 L.Ed.2d 975 (1972); Townes v. United States, 371 F.2d 930, 932-934 (4th Cir.19......
  • People v. Romero, No. 82SA566
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • January 21, 1985
    ...to counsel with an understanding of the consequences. Harris, 683 F.2d at 324; Maynard, 545 F.2d at 277-78; United States v. Rosenthal, 470 F.2d 837, 844-45 (2nd Cir.1972); Lucero, 200 Colo. at 340 n. 3, 615 P.2d at 663 n. 3; Hsu, 392 A.2d at 983; Commonwealth v. Hawkins, 17 Mass.App. 1041,......
  • State v. Johnson, No. 2004-1163.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • December 13, 2006
    ...to give `explicit warning and advice' regarding the waiver of counsel." Id., quoting United States v. Rosenthal (C.A.2, 1972), 470 F.2d 837, 845. The court noted, "Konigsberg had been continuously represented prior to and during trial. He made his decision to represent himself wit......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
59 cases
  • U.S. v. Taylor, Nos. 330-334 and 336
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • April 13, 1977
    ...in Washington. The granting or denial of a continuance lies within the sound discretion of the trial court. United States v. Rosenthal, 470 F.2d 837, 844 (2d Cir. 1972), cert. denied, 412 U.S. 909, 93 S.Ct. 2298, 36 L.Ed.2d 975 (1973). See also United States ex rel. Martinez v. Mancusi, 455......
  • Parren v. State, No. 91
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1986
    ...v. Vincent, 526 F.2d 131 (2d Cir.1975), cert. denied, 426 U.S. 937, 96 S.Ct. 2652, 49 L.Ed.2d 388 (1976); United States v. Rosenthal, 470 F.2d 837, 844-845 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 412 U.S. 909, 93 S.Ct. 2298, 36 L.Ed.2d 975 (1972); Townes v. United States, 371 F.2d 930, 932-934 (4th Cir.19......
  • People v. Romero, No. 82SA566
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • January 21, 1985
    ...to counsel with an understanding of the consequences. Harris, 683 F.2d at 324; Maynard, 545 F.2d at 277-78; United States v. Rosenthal, 470 F.2d 837, 844-45 (2nd Cir.1972); Lucero, 200 Colo. at 340 n. 3, 615 P.2d at 663 n. 3; Hsu, 392 A.2d at 983; Commonwealth v. Hawkins, 17 Mass.App. 1041,......
  • State v. Johnson, No. 2004-1163.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • December 13, 2006
    ...to give `explicit warning and advice' regarding the waiver of counsel." Id., quoting United States v. Rosenthal (C.A.2, 1972), 470 F.2d 837, 845. The court noted, "Konigsberg had been continuously represented prior to and during trial. He made his decision to represent himself wit......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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