Sunday, November 17, 2013

Commonwealth v. Mitchneck case brief

Commonwealth v. Mitchneck case brief summary
198 A. 463 (Pa. Super. 1938)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendant appealed a judgment of Q.S. Columbia Court (Pennsylvania) convicting him of fraudulently converting the money of another person to his own use pursuant to the Fraudulent Conversion Act of May 18, 1917, P.L. 241.

CASE FACTS
Defendant, operator of a coal mine, agreed to deduct a portion of his employees' wages and pay their bills at a local grocery store with the money. Defendant deducted the money but failed to pay the bills. Defendant was convicted of the offense of fraudulently converting the money of another person to his own use.

DISCUSSION

  • The court reversed, holding that in order to be guilty of fraudulent conversion, it was essential that the property at the time of the conversion belonged to another. 
  • The court held that defendant's conduct did not amount to fraudulent conversion because defendant had not received any money belonging to plaintiffs. 
  • Defendant owed plaintiffs money but that did not transfer to them title and ownership of the money. 
  • His deductions from their wages effected only a change in creditors; after defendant accepted the assignments, he owed the money to the grocery store and not to plaintiffs.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed, holding that in order to be guilty of fraudulent conversion, it was essential that the property at the time of the conversion belonged to another. The court held that defendant's conduct did not amount to fraudulent conversion because defendant had not received any money belonging to plaintiffs.


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