Ingram v. United States

PETITIONER: Ingram
RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: U.S. District Court Southern District of California

DOCKET NO.: 457
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1958-1962)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

CITATION: 360 US 672 (1959)
ARGUED: Apr 30, 1959
DECIDED: Jun 29, 1959

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Ingram v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 30, 1959 in Ingram v. United States

Earl Warren:

Number 457, Horace Ingram, L. E. Smith, Mary Law et al., Petitioners, versus United States of America.

Mr. Asinof.

Wesley R. Asinof:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court.

In this particular case, the petitioners were originally indicted in the District Court for the offense of felony, not a misdemeanor but the offense of felony for a conspiracy to avoid and evade the payment of federal tax relating to wagering.

Earl Warren:

Relating to what?

Wesley R. Asinof:

Wagering, wagers.

There are only four of these petitioners before the Court.

Originally, there were 31 defendants indicted.

Numerous of the defendants were acquitted.

Felix Frankfurter:

How many were tried at the same time?

Wesley R. Asinof:

26.

Felix Frankfurter:

26.

Wesley R. Asinof:

And, there were a group of them acquitted, some were convicted.

Felix Frankfurter:

How many lawyers for the defendants?

Wesley R. Asinof:

They were approximately eight or nine counsel in the trial of this case.

The case consumed almost a month to try, a little less than four weeks, four full weeks.

Boiling all of the facts of the case, and the long involved facts over the period of four weeks, down to its very essentials, I think that I could fairly state that the evidence amounted to this.

As to the petitioner Horace Ingram, the fact showed that he was the banker or the principal involved in a lottery known as the numbers game.

The petitioners Rufus Jenkins, Mary Law and L. E. Smith can fairly be shown by the evidence to have been employees of Horace Ingram, not principal but employees.

Mary Law, I believe, the -- the only evidence that connects her at all with the offense is that, in one occasion, she was found to have been checking tickets at a lottery headquarters and, likewise, the evidence seems to be abundant as to the petitioner Smith, to that affect and probably that he performed some other errands in and about the lottery business.

And, as to the petitioner Rufus Jenkins, I don't know exactly what connection the evidence actually would show that he had or what part he played, but it at -- at the very least, we'd say that it does not show him to be a banker.

Charles E. Whittaker:

Didn't the Court of Appeals and the District Court find him to be a principal?

Wesley R. Asinof:

That, if Your Honor please, was because of the fact that the jury did convict him upon the substantive count of failing to pay the tax, as well as the felony conviction on a conspiracy.

And, we say that it -- that that finding, of course, was completely without evidence, that there was no evidence to support any finding that Rufus Jenkins was a principal in this particular enterprise.

Now, we do admit and we concede that, as to Horace Ingram, that the evidence is sufficient to support the misdemeanor conviction of failure to pay, but --

Felix Frankfurter:

Did the evidence bear on the profit of the -- of the petitioners other than Ingram?

Wesley R. Asinof:

No, Your Honor.

Felix Frankfurter:

What their take was out of this profit and --

Wesley R. Asinof:

No, Your Honor.

Felix Frankfurter:

-- was charged?