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United States v. Schwartz

July 12, 1968

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
ROBERT SCHWARTZ AND JOHN J. PYNE, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS



Castle, Chief Judge, and Fairchild and Cummings, Circuit Judges.

Author: Cummings

CUMMINGS, Circuit Judge.

In May 1967, Edmund Pacewicz and defendants John Pyne and Robert Schwartz were indicted for interstate travel (or causing interstate travel) from Chicago to Provo, Utah, on or about March 9, 1964, to promote extortion in violation of a Utah statute,*fn1 in contravention of Section 1952 of the Criminal Code (18 U.S.C. ยง 1952). Pacewicz entered a plea of guilty, and defendants Pyne and Schwartz were found guilty after a jury trial.

The evidence showed that on February 25, 1964, Robert P. Thorn, a resident of Salt Lake City, Utah, came to Chicago to attend the National Ready-Mix Concrete Association convention. Thorn was in the construction business in Provo, Utah. On February 27, Thorn attended meetings of the convention and then attended an evening performance of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at the Shubert Theatre. On the lapel of his suit he was wearing a convention tag describing him in block letters as follows:

ROBERT P. THORN

THORN ROCK PRODS. CO.

PROVO, UTAH

As he left the theatre at approximately 10:30 p.m., defendant Schwartz, who was standing outside the theatre, hailed Thorn by name. Schwartz explained that he was a manufacturer's representative of heavy equipment and wanted to talk to Thorn about his product. Thorn invited Schwartz to Thorn's room at the Palmer House Hotel to discuss this business.

A moment after their arrival in Thorn's room, Schwartz solicited an act of perversion. Thorn immediately ordered Schwartz to leave the room, stating that otherwise he would call the police.

Schwartz then told Thorn that he would be in serious difficulties if he caused any trouble. Schwartz pulled out a folder containing a badge and an I.D. card and told Thorn he was an officer of the Chicago Police Department. Thorn then gave Schwartz his driver's license in a plastic folder containing his business cards. Schwartz took notes from these items and asked Thorn for his business address, the number and ages of his children and information about his automobile and about his wife's automobile.

Schwartz told Thorn that a serious criminal charge would be lodged against him if anything came of this experience. He also told Thorn that his family and business reputation would suffer if he were so charged.

On February 28, Thorn returned to Utah without having called the Chicago Police Department.

On March 9, defendant Pacewicz, calling himself Sergeant Walter Duncan of the Chicago Police Department, appeared at Thorn's office in Provo, Utah. After a 15- or 20-minute conversation, Pacewicz left Thorn's office. A few minutes later, he returned with defendant Pyne, who was introduced as Detective John Anderson of the Chicago Police Department. Pacewicz termed Anderson "a close friend of the father of the young officer" (defendant Schwartz, whom they called Dick) who had visited Thorn's Chicago hotel room. The defendants indicated that Schwartz's father had long been a detective in the Chicago Police Department.

The defendants told Thorn they had a warrant of arrest for his return to Chicago as a result of the Palmer House episode. Pacewicz exhibited papers purportedly for Thorn's arrest and extradition to Illinois. They said that Schwartz was in trouble for not having arrested Thorn, and that Schwartz could only be cleared if Thorn returned to Chicago to stand trial. Thorn said that it would be impossible to do so. Pacewicz said they were obliged to produce Thorn in Chicago or else he would have to post a $25,000 bond. When Thorn advised defendants that he could not raise this amount, Pacewicz said the bond could be reduced to a $10,000 cash bond, resulting in vindication of Schwartz and Thorn. Defendants told Thorn they had to return to Chicago as early as possible.

Later that morning, Thorn gave Pacewicz an envelope containing $10,000 because Thorn was afraid to return to Chicago to face Schwartz's charges. Thorn never recovered this money although Pacewicz had promised its return, less a 10% Illinois bondsman's fee.

Two days later, Pacewicz telephoned Thorn to tell him they would keep everything under control and that the matter would be disposed of in three or four months. In this conversation, Pacewicz refused to give Thorn his business or home telephone number and explained that he was calling on an outside phone to avoid a monitor. He said the case had been continued until a hearing ten or twelve days thence, and they would secure another continuance for 30-45 days. He reported that ...


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