Friday, November 15, 2013

United States v. Peoni case brief

United States v. Peoni case brief summary
100 F.2d 401 (1938)

Defendant appealed a judgment of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, upon a jury verdict finding him guilty of possessing counterfeit money and conspiracy to possess.

Defendant sold counterfeit bills to an individual. That individual then sold the same bills to a third person. All three knew that the bills were counterfeit. Defendant was indicted for possessing counterfeit money and for conspiracy to possess it. The jury convicted him on all counts.

The questions before the district court were whether defendant was guilty as an accessory to another's possession and whether he was party to a conspiracy.


  • The court reversed the conviction and held that defendant was not an accessory to possession; his connection with the business ended when he got his money from the individual to whom he made the sale. 
  • Defendant's utterance of the bills was a step in the causal chain, which ended in the third person's possession, but nothing more.

The court reversed the district court's judgment because defendant's mere acceptance of payment for the counterfeit bills precluded his guilt as an accessory to possession; consequently, the conviction could not stand.

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