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Curley v. United States

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
160 F.2d 229 (1947)


Facts

Curley, Fuller, and Smith (defendants) were members of the Group, a company involved in government-housing and defense-related contracts. During contract negotiations with prospective clients, the Group significantly misrepresented its financial status and client base by stating that the Group held significant assets and cash, had housing projects approved by the Federal Housing Administration, and was sought after by other important business contacts. These false representations were included in verbal and written communications with prospective clients, in contract agreements, and in brochures. The defendants were indicted in district court for violating the federal mail-fraud statute and for conspiracy to commit fraud. During trial, Curley, who had served as president of the Group, claimed that he had no knowledge of the other defendants’ misrepresentations. However, Curley had directly interacted with clients and had firsthand knowledge of the Group’s financial status. At the close of the prosecution’s case, Curley moved for a directed verdict of acquittal. The trial court denied the motion. Curley did not offer any evidence to rebut the prosecution’s case. The jury found Curley guilty of conspiracy, and he appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Prettyman, J.)

Dissent (Miller, J.)

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