SEALFON V. UNITED STATES, 332 U. S. 575 (1948)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Sealfon v. United States, 332 U.S. 575 (1948)

Sealfon v. United States

No. 174

Argued December 11, 1947

Decided January 5, 1948

332 U.S. 575


1. Petitioner was tried and acquitted on a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States by presenting false invoices and making false representations to a ration board to the effect that certain sales of sugar products were made to exempt agencies. Thereafter, he was tried and convicted for aiding and abetting the uttering and publishing of the false invoices introduced in the conspiracy trial. The crux of the prosecutor's case at the second trial was an alleged agreement necessarily found in the first trial to be nonexistent.

Held: in the unique circumstances of this case, the jury's verdict in the conspiracy trial was a determination favorable to petitioner of the facts essential to conviction of the substantive offense, and res judicata was a valid defense to the second prosecution. Pp. 576-580.

2. The doctrine of res judicata is applicable to criminal as well as civil proceedings, and operates to conclude those matters in issue which have been determined by a previous verdict, even though the offenses be different. P. 332 U. S. 578.

161 F.2d 481, reversed.

After being acquitted on a conspiracy charge, petitioner was tried and convicted on substantially the same evidence for violating § 332 of the Criminal Code. The Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. 161 F.2d 481. This Court granted certiorari. 332 U.S. 754. Reversed, p. 332 U. S. 580.

Page 332 U. S. 576

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