UNITED STATES V. FABRIZIO, 385 U. S. 263 (1966)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Fabrizio, 385 U.S. 263 (1966)

United States v. Fabrizio

No. 47

Argued November 7, 1966

Decided December 12, 1966

385 U.S. 263


Appellee was indicted for violating 18 U.S.C. § 1953 by knowingly carrying from New Hampshire to New York 75 "acknowledgments of purchase" for "use" in the New Hampshire State Sweepstakes. A purchase acknowledgment, a receipt for the buyer's retention, is practically a carbon copy of the sweepstakes ticket, which is retained in the machine at the time of purchase. Section 1953 proscribes the carriage in interstate commerce (except by a common carrier) of any record, paper, or writing designed for use in a wagering pool with respect to a sporting event. The statute exempts parimutuel betting equipment, the transportation of betting materials for bets or sporting events into a State where such betting is legal, or the transportation of newspapers. Appellee moved to dismiss the indictment, contending that § 1953 was intended to reach only organized crime or illegal gambling activities, neither of which was alleged; that the New Hampshire state lottery was not an "illegal" wagering pool; and that purchase acknowledgments were valueless, and not for "use" in the state sweepstakes, since their retention was not necessary to collect winnings. From the District Court's dismissal of the indictment as charging acts not within the purview of §1953, a direct appeal was taken to this Court.

Held: The indictment states an offense under 18 U.S.C. § 1953. Pp. 385 U. S. 266-271.

(a) Congress manifested the broad purpose of thwarting the interstate movement of gambling paraphernalia by all persons except common carriers. Pp. 385 U. S. 266-267.

(b) The exemptions, which are consistent with the broad reach of the statute, would have included state-run wagering pools had Congress so intended. Pp. 385 U. S. 268-269.

(c) By receipting the purchase and assuring the ticket owner of proper registration, the acknowledgment serves a purpose and constitutes "use" in the sweepstakes within the meaning of §1953, at least here where the Government contends that it will prove

Page 385 U. S. 264

that the acknowledgments specified in the indictment were being delivered by petitioner to out-of-state persons who had bought tickets through him. Pp. 385 U. S. 269-271.


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