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United States v. Clark

August 9, 1984

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
SHEILA CLARK, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 83 CR 359 -- George N. Leighton, Judge.

Author: Kellam

Before PELL and FLAUM, Circuit Judges, and KELLAM, Senior District Judge.*fn*

KELLAM, District Judge. Tried to the Court on stipulated facts, Sheila Clark appeals her conviction for (1) entering a federally insured bank with intent to commit a felony affecting the bank, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a), and (2) unlawful possession of the contents of a first-class letter stolen from the mails, knowing the contents to be stolen, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1708. Finding no error, we affirm.

I.

The defendant, with the consent of the United States having waived a jury and submitted the case to the court on stipulated facts, the issue on appeal resolves itself into one of sufficiency of the evidence to support the conviction on each of the two counts of the indictment.

On March 4, 1983, Morris Jones deposited in a United States mailbox at 11th and Madison Streets, Maywood, Illinois, a letter containing a 1984 State of Illinois Vehicle Registration Card in the name of Jean Bell Jones and a check for $18.00, payable to Illinois Secretary of State, drawn on the Joneses' account at Maywood-Proviso State Bank of Maywood (Bank). Sometime during the day of March 4, the aforesaid mailbox was broken into and all of the mail in it stolen.

Shortly prior to March 12, 1983, Eric Shrempp Photograph Company (ERIC) closed its account at Bank, and discarded numerous unused checks in the trash. ERIC, neither before nor after closing the account, had ever issued a check to either Clark or Jean Bell Jones.

On March 12, 1983, eight days after the mail had been stolen from the aforesaid mailbox, defendant Clark entered the bank and presented for cashing a check drawn on the closed account of ERIC in the sum of $472.63, payable to Jean Bell Jones, who had an account at the bank. Defendant entered the said bank for the purpose of cashing the said check. The teller told defendant the bank had a policy that limited the cashing of any check up to $300.00, and recommended Clark fill out a deposit slip in order to deposit $172.63 of the proceeds of the check in her bank account (Jean Bell Jones account), and receive the $300.00 in cash. While defendant was completing the deposit slip, the bank teller compared the signature of Jean Bell Jones on her account signature card with the endorsement on the $472.63 check. The teller observed the endorsement did not match the signature card, and that defendant did not resemble the photo of Jean Bell Jones on the account signature card. The teller notified the security guard, and defendant was subsequently arrested by Maywood police. During the search of defendant's purse, the police found the Illinois Vehicle Registration Card which Morris Jones had deposited in the mailbox on March 4th. The check which had been mailed with the registration card was not found on defendant.

II.

Title 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a) in part, provides:

Whoever enters or attempts to enter any bank . . . with intent to commit in such bank . . . any felony affecting such bank . . . and in violation of any statute of the United States, or any larceny. . . .

Section 2113(b), in part, provides:

Whoever takes and carries away, with intent to steal or purloin, any property or money or any other thing of value exceeding $100.00 belonging to, or in the care, custody, control, management or possession of any bank, . . . shall be fined not ...


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