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People v. Riggins

Supreme Court of Illinois
132 N.E.2d 519 (Ill. 1956)


Facts

Marven Riggins (defendant) owned and operated the Creditors Collection Service, a collection agency that collected delinquent accounts for about 500 clients. Riggins agreed with Dorothy Tarrant, the operator of Cooper’s Music and Jewelry (Cooper’s), that Riggins would collect Cooper’s delinquent accounts. According to the agreement, Riggins was to receive collection fees, and Riggins would not transfer the funds to Cooper’s until the full delinquent amount was collected. Riggins and Tarrant operated under the agreement for about two years, during which Tarrant did not have any control over Riggins’s manner or timing regarding the collection of accounts. Tarrant knew that Riggins commingled the collected funds for all of his clients in one bank account. Riggins also used this account as a personal account. After some time, Tarrant found that Riggins had collected several of her accounts in full but had not remitted payment to her. Tarrant discussed the issue with Riggins on two occasions, and Riggins repeatedly said that he would make sure to pay Tarrant. Discussions between Riggins and Tarrant ended when Riggins filed for bankruptcy, listing Cooper’s as a creditor. Afterward, Tarrant pressed charges against Riggins, and Riggins was indicted and convicted for embezzlement under the Illinois embezzlement statute, which (1) applies to any agent receiving money in a fiduciary capacity and (2) provides that liability will attach regardless of whether the agent has any shared interest in the money. Riggins appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Hershey, C.J.)

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Dissent (Schaefer, J.)

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