Sunday, November 17, 2013

United States v. McGovern case brief

United States v. McGovern case brief summary
661 F.2d 27 (1981)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellants sought review of judgments from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, which convicted them of transporting traveler's checks bearing a forged countersignature in interstate or foreign commerce in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 2314.

CASE FACTS
Appellants developed a scheme to defraud the seller of traveler's checks. One appellant purchased the checks, the second appellant negotiated them by signing the first appellant's name, and the first appellant reported the traveler's checks as stolen. Appellants were convicted of transporting traveler's checks bearing a forged countersignature in interstate or foreign commerce in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 2314.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, appellants argued that because the second appellant had the authority from the first appellant to sign the traveler's checks, this fact defeated the charge of forgery, which was a predicate to the federal statutory offense. 
  • The court affirmed the convictions, holding that the purchaser of traveler's checks could not authorize anyone else to sign them on his behalf and, therefore, that the elements of common law forgery were established.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the convictions, holding that appellant, who purchased the traveler's checks, could not give authority to the other appellant to sign the check's on his behalf and, therefore, that attempted negotiation of the checks by the second appellant, accompanied by his intent to defraud, constituted common law forgery, the predicate of the federal statutory offense of transporting forged traveler's checks.


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