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Cochran v. Dellfava

City Court, City of Rochester, New York
517 N.Y.S.2d 854 (1987)


Facts

Despite knowing that it was illegal to participate in a pyramid scheme, Cochran (plaintiff) agreed to take part in the “airplane game” at the urging of Dellfava (defendant). She gave Dellfava $2,200, which he passed along to the “pilot” of the game. Participants in the scheme solicited “passengers” and gradually moved up the pyramid to become “flight attendants,” “co-pilots,” and eventually the “pilot.” When the status of pilot was reached, that person received $17,200. After providing the $2,200, Cochran was surprised and dissatisfied with her level within the pyramid. She fruitlessly sought a return of her money. Eventually her plane “crashed” and Cochran lost her entire investment. She brought suit against Dellfava, and the trial court considered her claim.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Schwartz, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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