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United States v. Schweihs

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
971 F.2d 1302 (1992)


William Wemette, owner of an adult-video store, was forced to pay a “street tax” to members of the Chicago “Outfit,” an organized crime group. In 1984, Wemette was having difficulty making the payments. The Outfit warned Wemette that his business would be shut down if he did not pay the tax. Wemette contacted Frank Schweihs (defendant), a high-ranking member of the Outfit, to complain. Schweihs responded by appointing a new person, Anthony Daddino (defendant), to collect Wemette’s payments. In 1987, Wemette reported the illegal arrangement to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and agreed to record his conversations with Schweihs and Daddino. Shortly thereafter, the FBI directed Wemette to refuse to make further payments to Daddino. Daddino warned Wemette that if Wemette did not pay, a more dangerous collector might come to collect. Wemette told Daddino not to come back, and Daddino responded, “Okay, buddy,” and left. Daddino never returned. Schweihs then began collecting the payments himself. The United States government (plaintiff) charged Schweihs and Daddino with extortion and conspiracy to extort under 18 U.S.C. §1951. At trial, Daddino proposed a jury instruction on his withdrawal from the conspiracy, contending that his last conversation with Wemette constituted a withdrawal sufficient to entitle him to the instruction. The court denied the proposed instruction. A jury convicted Daddino, and he appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Fairchild, J.)

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