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UNITED STATES v. PARNESS

September 29, 1975

UNITED STATES of America
v.
Milton PARNESS and Barbara Parness, Defendants


Bonsal, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: BONSAL

MEMORANDUM

BONSAL, District Judge.

 Defendants Milton and Barbara Parness move pursuant to Fed.R.Cr.P. 33 for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence on the ground that "the testimony of the prosecution's witness-in-chief was false as to material matters" and "that at the time of trial the United States Attorney knew or should have known of material evidence favorable to the defendants which was not disclosed or made available to the defendants." *fn1" Argument was had before the Court on August 27, 1975, limited to the issue of whether a hearing was necessary on defendants' motion.

 Defendant Milton Parness was convicted on October 3, 1973, by a jury, of acquiring control of the St. Maarten Isle Hotel Corporation ("Casino-Hotel") in St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles through a pattern of racketeering in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961, 1962(b) and 1963 (Count 1), of two counts of causing interstate transportation of stolen property, 18 U.S.C. § 2314 (Counts 4 and 5), and one count of causing a person to travel in interstate commerce in furtherance of a scheme to defraud, 18 U.S.C. § 2314 (Count 6). Milton Parness' wife, Barbara Parness, a co-defendant at this trial, was convicted on Counts 4, 5 and 6. Defendants each were sentenced on December 7, 1973. On June 27, 1974, the Second Circuit affirmed their convictions (503 F.2d 430 (2d Cir. 1974)), and on January 13, 1975 the Supreme Court denied certiorari (419 U.S. 1105, 95 S. Ct. 775, 42 L. Ed. 2d 801 (1975)). Thereafter, Defendants made the instant motion for a new trial.

 I.

 In order to grant a new trial based on newly discovered evidence, a defendant must show

 
" inter alia, (1) that the evidence was discovered after trial, (2) that it could not, with the exercise of due diligence, have been discovered sooner, (3) that it is so material that it would probably produce a different verdict." United States v. Slutsky, 514 F.2d 1222, 1225 (2d Cir. 1975) (citations omitted).

 The burden of proof is a stringent one since motions for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence "are not held in great favor." Id. ; United States v. Catalano, 491 F.2d 268, 274 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 419 U.S. 825, 95 S. Ct. 42, 42 L. Ed. 2d 48 (1974). See United States v. Franzese, 321 F. Supp. 993 (E.D.N.Y.1970), aff'd, 438 F.2d 536 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 402 U.S. 995, 91 S. Ct. 2172, 29 L. Ed. 2d 161 (1971).

 Defendants initially allege that Allan Goberman (the Government's key witness at trial) in connection with the civil action filed by him against Defendants in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on February 5, 1974 (four months after trial), gave testimony in a deposition which differed from that given at Defendants' trial, and that this constituted newly discovered evidence.

 A. Defendants first contend that in the deposition Goberman substantially modified the testimony he gave at trial as to the amount owed to him by the Casino-Hotel or Milton Parness. At trial Goberman testified that he believed he was owed approximately $400,000 in gross marker "pick ups" as of February, 1971, and stated that he relied largely upon work sheets from the Casino-Hotel showing "win-loss totals and marker pick ups" during the period from October, 1970 through January, 1971. These work sheets were received in evidence as Government's Exhibits 167 through 177. Defendants' counsel cross-examined Goberman at length with respect to his estimates and used the exhibits in his summation. Defendants' present calculations and conclusions are based solely on the same exhibits and do not constitute newly discovered evidence.

 B. Defendants contend that Goberman's testimony at trial about the money owed him by Milton Parness in unremitted marker pick ups was false in that Goberman did not state that Parness was entitled to deduct certain commissions from the gross marker pick ups that Parness was to collect. This contention does not entitle Defendants to a new trial because of newly discovered evidence. See United States v. Slutsky, 514 F.2d 1222 (2d Cir. 1975). Defendants were the recipients of these commissions and Milton Parness demonstrated his knowledge of them when he testified at a hearing before this Court. In addition, Goberman referred to these commissions in his direct testimony at trial.

 C. Defendants contend that the existence of checks constituting remittances from Milton Parness' corporation, Olympic Sports Club, Inc., to the Casino-Hotel during December, 1970 and January, 1971 which should have been credited to the amount owed to Goberman was not revealed to Defendants by the Government during or prior to trial. The trial record shows that these checks were reflected in the evidence at trial, specifically in Government's Exhibit 155, which Defendants' counsel used for cross-examination and in summation. Moreover, the checks were written on the account of Olympic Sports Club, Inc., the corporation controlled by Milton Parness, who knew or should have known of their existence at trial. See United States v. Slutsky, supra.

 Accordingly, none of the foregoing items constitute newly ...


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