Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Phillips

decided: May 8, 1970.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, APPELLEE,
v.
LEO PHILLIPS, APPELLANT



Lumbard, Chief Judge, Hays, Circuit Judge, and Blumenfeld,*fn* District Judge.

Author: Hays

HAYS, Circuit Judge:

Leo Phillips appeals from a judgment of conviction entered after a jury trial in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York on a charge of causing stolen books worth more than $5,000 to be transported in interstate commerce in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2 (1964) and 18 U.S.C. § 2314 (Supp. IV 1965-68),*fn1 and of conspiring to cause stolen books worth more than $5,000 to be transported in interstate commerce in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 (1964) and 18 U.S.C. § 2314 (Supp. IV 1965-68). Appellant was sentenced to two years' imprisonment on each count, the sentences to run concurrently.

We affirm the conviction.

I.

Harold Phillips, who is not related to appellant, was also indicted and pleaded guilty to the conspiracy count.*fn2 He testified that he managed a book warehouse in New York City in 1962 and one in Wayne, New Jersey in 1963-65 and that although appellant knew that Harold had no authority to sell books, appellant purchased at least eight lots of damaged books directly from Harold in the period from late 1962 until August 1964.*fn3

In August 1964 Harold sold appellant new books worth approximately $80,000. The order for these books, which provides the basis for the substantive count of the indictment, was prepared in the name of Greenman Bros., a legitimate customer of the warehouse. On August 11, 13 and 14 a truck driver hired by appellant picked up portions of the order. The truck driver testified that appellant told him he was to make a pick up and delivery for Greenman Bros., which was located in Hicksville, Long Island, but later instructed him to deliver the books to a warehouse in Brooklyn. A Brooklyn warehouseman testified that appellant used his facilities in mid-August 1964 to store books delivered to him without a bill of lading.

An executive from Golden Press, the Company which owned the books said to be stolen, testified that the August 11 shipment of the "Greenman Bros." order had a retail value of over $40,000. The owner of a book business in Wisconsin, who the jury could have found purchased part of the "Greenman Bros." order, testified that the portion he purchased had a retail value of approximately $40,000.

Appellant testified that Harold had been introduced to him as the "boss" and that he thought Harold had authority to sell the books in question. Two defense witnesses described the nature and customs of the book close-out business.

II.

Appellant contends that there was insufficient evidence to establish that he committed the crime charged because an accomplice's testimony must be corroborated. However, the rule in the federal courts is to the contrary. United States v. Corallo, 413 F.2d 1306, 1323 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 396 U.S. 958, 90 S. Ct. 431, 24 L. Ed. 2d 422 (1969); United States v. Armone, 363 F.2d 385, 402 (2d Cir. 1966), cert. denied sub nom. Viscardi v. United States, 385 U.S. 957, 87 S. Ct. 391, 17 L. Ed. 2d 303; United States v. Kelly, 349 F.2d 720, 767 (2d Cir. 1965), cert. denied, 384 U.S. 947, 86 S. Ct. 1467, 16 L. Ed. 2d 544 (1966). The trial judge cautioned the jury to receive and weigh the accomplice testimony with "caution and care."*fn4 And, as our review of the evidence demonstrates, Harold's testimony was corroborated at least circumstantially in almost every important aspect.

Appellant also argues that the government failed to prove that the books were stolen, and to establish that he knew that Harold had no authority to sell them. However, it was reasonable for the jury to find the existence of these elements from the evidence presented.

III.

The indictment in this case was filed on August 1, 1967. The case had been marked ready and adjourned at least three times, and one change of counsel had taken place by March 3, 1969. On that date and on March 6 and 10 the trial judge called and adjourned the case because of the absence of appellant or his counsel. Finally on March 12, 1969, appellant appeared with new counsel. The case was adjourned until March 18, 1969, at which time appellant's new counsel requested a further adjournment. The trial judge granted an ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.