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UNITED STATES v. BURGO

July 22, 1948

UNITED STATES
v.
BURGO et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MADDEN

This matter was tried by the court without a jury and presented the following issues.

The plaintiff, United States of America, alleged the existence of two tax assessment liens, one dated December 28, 1944, in the amount of $ 12,908.80 (Exh. P. 1) and another dated September 18, 1945, in the amount of $ 18,145.76 (Exch. P. 2) for a total of $ 31,054.56 against the defendant Joseph Burgo, and it seeks by this suit to impose these liens upon three policies of insurance held by the beneficiary defendant, Rose Burgo, insuring the life of said Joseph Burgo and requiring the defendants, Joseph Burgo and Rose Burgo, to surrender said policies of insurance; and further requiring the life insurance companies to inform the court what the cash surrender value of such policies is and to pay to the plaintiff such sum as represented by the cash surrender value

 The policies involved are as follows. Policy No. 14987280A (Exh. P. 3) in the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, dated March 4, 1944, in the face amount of $ 25,000; Policy No. 1708245 (Exh. P. 4) and Policy No. 1708246 (Exh. P. 5), both in the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, both dated April 14, 1944 and each in the face amount of $ 10,000.

 The defendant insurance companies admitted the existence of the policies and expressed their desire and willingness to abide by any order of the court in the matter and at the trial, produced the cash surrender figures as follows:

 Policy No. -- -- -Company -- -- -Cash Surrender Value

 1708245 -- -- -- -- -- Sun Life -- -$ 1428.43 as of Oct. 2, 1947

 1708246 -- -- -- -- -- Sun Life -- -- 1428.43 as of Oct. 2, 1947

 14987280A -- -- -- -Metropolitan-2344.06 as of Dec. 2, 1947

 The defendant, Joseph Burgo, denied ownership of the policies and asserted ownership in the defendant, Rose Burgo. Rose Burgo alleged sole and complete ownership of the policies in question and, in addition, alleged that such policies or their proceeds were exempt from such lien or levy by operation of state law.

 No one contested the existence of the tax liens hereinbefore mentioned or their applicability to the defendant, Joseph Burgo.

 Upon the trial, the plaintiff proved the existence of the tax liens and the policies and placed the same in evidence together with a stipulation as to the cash surrender value of the policies.

 The defendants produced one witness, a Mrs. Ann Rapini, a daughter of the defendant, who testified that she was present when the insurance was ordered; that it was ordered by her mother (Rose Burgo) upon the life of her father (Joseph Burgo); that upon delivery of the policies to the mother by the agents, she, Ann Rapini, kept them for her mother in her own personal safe deposit box. In addition, she produced checks in payment of the life insurance premiums all signed by Rose Burgo, individually, on her own bank account, as follows:

 April 3, 1944 -- Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. -- $ 1472.50 -- Exh. D. 1

 March 5, 1945 -- Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. -- $ ...


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