United States v. Scharton, No. 621

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtROBERTS
Citation76 L.Ed. 917,285 U.S. 518,52 S.Ct. 416
Decision Date11 April 1932
Docket NumberNo. 621
PartiesUNITED STATES v. SCHARTON

285 U.S. 518
52 S.Ct. 416
76 L.Ed. 917
UNITED STATES

v.

SCHARTON.

No. 621.
Argued March 22, 1932.
Decided April 11, 1932.

Page 519

The Attorney General and Mr. G. A. Youngquist, Asst. Atty. Gen., for the United States.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 519-520 intentionally omitted]

Page 520

Mr. E. Mark Sullivan, of Boston, Mass. (Mr. Daniel A. Shea, of Boston, Mass., on the brief), for appellee.

Mr. Justice ROBERTS delivered the opinion of the Court.

The appellee was indicted under section 1114(b) of the Revenue Act of 1926, 1 the charge being attempts to evade taxes for 1926 and 1927 by falsely understating taxable income. In bar of the action he pleaded that the face of the indictment showed the offenses were committed more than three years prior to the return of a true bill. The plea was sustained and the indictment quashed, on the ground that the period of limitations is fixed by the first clause of section 1110(a) of the act2, and not, as the appellant contended, in the proviso thereof. The basis of this ruling was that the offense defined by use of the words 'evade or defeat' does not involve defrauding, or attempting to defraud, within the intent of the proviso.

The appellant contends fraud is implicit in the concept of evading or defeating; and asserts that attempts to obstruct or defeat the lawful functions of any department of the government (Haas v. Henkel, 216 U. S. 462, 479-480, 30 S. Ct. 249, 54 L. Ed. 569, 17 Ann. Cas. 1112), or to cheat it out of money to which it is entitled

Page 521

(Capone v. United States (C. C. A.) 51 F.(2d) 609, 615, 76 A. L. R. 1534) are attempts to defraud the United States, if accompanied by deceit, craft, trickery, or other dishonest methods or schemes, Hammerschmidt v. United States, 265 U. S. 182, 188, 44 S. Ct. 511, 68 L. Ed. 968. Any effort to defeat or evade a tax is said to be tantamount to and to possess every element of an attempt to defraud the taxing body.

We are required to ascertain the intent of Congress from the language used and to determine what cases the proviso intended to except from the general statute of limitations applicable to all offenses against the internal revenue laws. Section 1114(a), 26 USCA § 1265, makes willful failure to pay taxes, to make return, to keep necessary records, or to supply requisite information, a misdemeanor; and section 1114(c), 26 USCA § 1267 provides that willfully aiding, assisting, procuring, counselling, or advising...

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125 practice notes
  • U.S. v. Prosperi, Criminal No. 06-10116-RGS.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Massachusetts
    • August 29, 2008
    ...did not apply to false statements to the Civil Service Commission and the FBI in seeking federal employment); United States v. Scharton, 285 U.S. 518, 52 S.Ct. 416, 76 L.Ed. 917 (1932) (same, false swearing in the preparation of income tax returns); United States v. McElvain, 272 U.S. 633, ......
  • Bridges v. United States, No. 548
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 15, 1953
    ...be extended by construction to embrace so-called frauds not so denominated by the statutes creating offenses.' United States v. Scharton, 285 U.S. 518, 521—522, 52 S.Ct. 416, 417, 76 L.Ed. 917. The legislative history of this exception emphasizes the propriety of its conservative interpreta......
  • Corliss v. McGinley, 1:18-cv-2192
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Pennsylvania
    • August 17, 2020
    ...before 'the principle that criminal limitations statutes are 'to be liberally interpreted in favor of repose,' United States v. Scharton, 285 U.S. 518, 522, 52 S.Ct. 416, 417, 76 L.Ed. 917 (1932).' United States v. Habig, 390 U.S. 222, 227, 88 S.Ct. 926, 929, 19 L.Ed.2d 1055 (1968)." T......
  • Kirkendall v. Department of Army, No. 05-3077.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • March 7, 2007
    ...124 L.Ed.2d 368 (1993) ("The starting point in interpreting a statute is its language . . . ."); United States v. Scharton, 285 U.S. 518, 521, 52 S.Ct. 416, 76 L.Ed. 917 (1932) ("We are required to ascertain the intent of Congress from the language used [in the statute]."......
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125 cases
  • U.S. v. Prosperi, Criminal No. 06-10116-RGS.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Massachusetts
    • August 29, 2008
    ...did not apply to false statements to the Civil Service Commission and the FBI in seeking federal employment); United States v. Scharton, 285 U.S. 518, 52 S.Ct. 416, 76 L.Ed. 917 (1932) (same, false swearing in the preparation of income tax returns); United States v. McElvain, 272 U.S. 633, ......
  • Bridges v. United States, No. 548
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 15, 1953
    ...be extended by construction to embrace so-called frauds not so denominated by the statutes creating offenses.' United States v. Scharton, 285 U.S. 518, 521—522, 52 S.Ct. 416, 417, 76 L.Ed. 917. The legislative history of this exception emphasizes the propriety of its conservative interpreta......
  • Corliss v. McGinley, 1:18-cv-2192
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Pennsylvania
    • August 17, 2020
    ...before 'the principle that criminal limitations statutes are 'to be liberally interpreted in favor of repose,' United States v. Scharton, 285 U.S. 518, 522, 52 S.Ct. 416, 417, 76 L.Ed. 917 (1932).' United States v. Habig, 390 U.S. 222, 227, 88 S.Ct. 926, 929, 19 L.Ed.2d 1055 (1968)." T......
  • Kirkendall v. Department of Army, No. 05-3077.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • March 7, 2007
    ...124 L.Ed.2d 368 (1993) ("The starting point in interpreting a statute is its language . . . ."); United States v. Scharton, 285 U.S. 518, 521, 52 S.Ct. 416, 76 L.Ed. 917 (1932) ("We are required to ascertain the intent of Congress from the language used [in the statute]."......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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