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People v. Dioguardi

Court of Appeals of New York
203 N.Y.S.2d 870 (1960)


Facts

The victim corporations were nonunion companies owned by the Kerins. McNamara (defendant) was an official of two local unions and a member of the Teamsters Joint Council. Dioguardi (defendant) was the only officer in a corporation called Equitable Research Associates (Equitable). Individuals purporting to be from four local unions began contacting the Kerins and seeking to organize the Kerins’ companies. A picket line started at the Kerins’ company’s shipping entrance. The Kerins knew that the picket lines jeopardized their companies and may put them out of business. McNamara met with the Kerins and assured them he could make the picket lines stop if the Kerins’ companies (1) “joined up” with McNamara’s union, (2) paid $3,500 to Equitable for out-of-pocket expenses in organizing the companies, and (3) retained Equitable as a labor consultant at $100 per month. The Kerins balked at the lump sum payment to Equitable, but McNamara stated “[i]f we are going to avoid further trouble...it is my suggestion that you pay that to the Equitable Associates. If you don’t pay it, we can’t go through with the program.” The Kerins made the payment, totaling $4,700 by the time they reported the defendants. The defendants were convicted of extortion, but the appellate court reversed. The prosecution appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Froessel, J.)

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