Achilli v. United States

PETITIONER: Achilli
RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: Congress

DOCKET NO.: 430
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1957-1958)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

CITATION: 353 US 373 (1957)
ARGUED: May 02, 1957
DECIDED: May 27, 1957

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Achilli v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - May 02, 1957 (Part 1) in Achilli v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - May 02, 1957 (Part 2) in Achilli v. United States

Charles K. Rice:

I'm including my remarks with respect to the (Inaudible) the application of 3616.

I think it is fair to say that the purposes applying that particular section were to -- to meet the protest of the District Courts, the various District Courts and the United States Attorneys in the various districts.

And to ameliorate a lot of the small taxpayer who was being subjected to a felony prosecution and summonses where the tax involved was as low as a $100 or a $150.

Hugo L. Black:

You -- I suppose have put in your brief the names of those cases and the amounts involved in them substantially to the statement?

Charles K. Rice:

No, Your Honor.

We haven't got the names of the cases.

We have a reference of the total amounts of the cases.

They have the list of the amounts involved.

Hugo L. Black:

If this is material, I should think, might be wise to have all record of all those cases during that period of time with the name where they were tried?

Charles K. Rice:

Oh, we could give you --

Hugo L. Black:

If I presume it would be very easy because you know.

Charles K. Rice:

Yes.

We could give you the -- I think that we can state it as a general proposition that those prosecutions involved less than a $1000 in income.

Hugo L. Black:

I thought you said less than hundreds?

Charles K. Rice:

That was tax, sir.

Hugo L. Black:

Tax.

Charles K. Rice:

Less than a $1000 in income and of course considerably below that in tax.

Hugo L. Black:

That's all of them?

Charles K. Rice:

Well, I wouldn't want to say that there never has been an exception to that but that has been the general practice.

And as far as the amounts involved, I haven't actually made a study of the cases myself to determine whether it's a $100 or $200 or $300 or $400 but I think I can fairly say and we will be glad to furnish whatever he would like in that respect that the amounts involved were not large.

Felix Frankfurter:

But if you -- if you are right in your present position, then no matter how small, they would all have -- the prosecution would all have to be begun by -- before a grand jury and by indictment?

Charles K. Rice:

That is correct, Your Honor, if 3616 has no application in this area.

Earl Warren:

Well, would that -- would those figures after they reflect the amount of the tax that had been evaded or -- or would they be doing as they sometimes do in other cases, say in an embezzlement case where $50,000 has been embezzled, maybe they'll only charge a $1000 or $500 because those items are clear to make that (Voice Overlap) --

Charles K. Rice:

Yes.

Well, that I think is true in almost every criminal tax case.

Earl Warren:

Yes.

Charles K. Rice:

Not every case but in most of them, you have what they call the prosecutor of the net income for prosecution purposes, and that is very frequently less than -- but for civil -- what they would allege for civil purposes.

So what I'm talking about is the amount alleged for criminal purposes.

Now, a very large percentage of these small cases where the result of the claim of a fictitious defendant where a person would claim that John Jones and Richard Rowe were defendants when actually there was no such person as John Jones or Richard Rowe.

And the amount of the exemption being $600 for each of them and would result in a fairly small tax and yet the fraud would be so clear cut that it was difficult to overlook at.