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United States v. Greenberg

June 24, 1959

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
JOE GREENBERG, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Author: Galston

Before CLARK, Chief Judge, WATERMAN, Circuit Judge, and GALSTON, District Judge.

GALSTON, D. J.: This is an appeal from a conviction after trial on forty-six counts of an indictment which charged appellant with having aided and abetted in the preparation of false payroll reports to the United States Navy, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C.A., § 2 and § 1001.

Subsequent to the trial and on September 12, 1958, as the result of post-trial motions, the trial court dismissed Counts 32 through 43 of the indictment. The judgment of conviction was as to the remaining counts of the indictment.

In brief, appellant Greenberg was a general contractor on various government contracts. These were subject to the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act, Title 40 U.S.C.A., § 276 et seq ., which required that an employee on government construction jobs such as those covered by the contracts herein, be paid as a minimum the wages prevailing in the locality of the job for the type of work performed. There is an additional requirement that the immediate employer of any worker file with the government a weekly report scheduling the wages paid to each of his employees, and that the employer verify the report to be correct.

Appellant Greenberg was charged with aiding and abetting his sub-contractors in making false statements to the government to the effect that they paid their workers the wage rates as required by the contracts and the Davis-Bacon Act aforesaid. The reports prepared were false, but they were not prepared personally by the appellant.

There is a five-fold attack on the conviction.

First, it appears that the appellant encounters insurmountable difficulty in failing to appreciate the full significance of the fact that the conviction is of one who aided and abetted. That failure affects his construction of § 1001 of Title 18, U.S.C.A., which reads as follows:

"Statements or entries generally

Whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact, or makes any false, fictitious or fraudulent statements or representations, or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry, shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. June 25, 1948, c. 645, 62 Stat. 749."

Appellant's second contention is that the district court declined to charge the jury that false payroll statements had to be submitted to the government and that the filing thereof was an essential element of the crime charged under Title 18, U.S.C.A., § 1001.

The third point is an attack upon the laying of the venue in the Southern District of New York.

The fourth point is that the prosecution failed to make an adequate opening statement.

Finally it is contended that the conviction was caused by the cumulative effect of prejudicial matter improperly injected into the trial by the prosecution consisting, among other things, of improper cross-examination of the appellant, improper admission of rebuttal testimony by way of collateral attack on the defendant, and the impropriety of the government's summation.

On this appeal for the first time appellant contends that the acts charged and proved did not constitute a violation of Title 18, U.S.C.A., § 1001. In short, appellant's position is that the payroll statements were subject to prosecution only under Title 18, U.S.C.A., § 1621 instead of § 1001.The government is not barred from a prosecution under Title 18, U.S.C.A., § 1001, merely because it might also prosecute under Title 18, U.S.C.A., § 1621. As Judge Weinfeld points out in United States v. Lange, 128 Fed. Supp. 797, a single act or transaction may violate more than one criminal statute. This case falls within the rule, since a ...


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