for the Mattia Company only about 60 hours. It was established that Natale was an expert in the photographic phase of manufacturing plates used in the offset printing field. He had been working for his regular employer for a period of 14 years, and was foreman of its negative and plate department. The principal business of Natale's employer, Davidson Sales and Service Agency, was the making of plates for printers. The Mattia Company was one of its customers. Natale was a specialist in the photographic work involved in offset printing.
There was testimony in the present case that Natale, during nighttime hours, participated with employees of the Mattia Company in the counterfeiting of GMAC Bonds. The counterfeiting process was described in detail by an expert witness and amply explained by the use of exhibits on the trial. Natale, testifying in his own behalf, generally denied participation in the counterfeiting operation. His association with the employees of the Mattia Company is inferable from the testimony of a former employee of the company (who became a paid informant of the Government) that Natale was seen by him in the company of the Mattia employees during nighttime hours at the Mattia plant while the counterfeiting process was in progress.
Although there was other evidence pending to negate the effect of the evidence noted above, for the purposes of this motion, we must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the Government.
There was sufficient evidence to justify inference that Natale participated with Mattia employees in counterfeiting GMAC Bonds. There was ample evidence in the form of legends upon the bonds, and upon their coupons, that, in order to realize upon the bonds financially their transportation in interstate commerce would be required. That Natale knew that the bonds were being counterfeited, and that they would probably be transported in interstate commerce, is reasonably inferable from the proofs.
A person may be guilty of a conspiracy even though he is absent when the crime which is the object of the conspiracy is committed. His knowledge as to the scope of the conspiracy may be limited; he need not know the details of the plan or operations in furtherance thereof. Knowledge of membership in the conspiracy, the part played by each of the members and the division of the spoils is immaterial. He must know the purpose of the conspiracy, however, otherwise he is not guilty. Marino v. United States, 9th Cir. 1937, 91 F.2d 691, 696, 113 A.L.R. 975. "Once the existence of a conspiracy is clearly established, slight evidence may be sufficient to connect a defendant with it." Poliafico v. United States, 6 Cir. 1956, 237 F.2d 97, 104; cert. den. 1957, 352 U.S. 1025, 77 S. Ct. 590, 1 L. Ed. 2d 597; citing United States v. Cohen, 3rd Cir. 1952, 197 F.2d 26.
THE INSTRUCTIONS TO THE JURY
Joint Requests to Charge were submitted in behalf of all of the trial defendants collectively. The requests numbered 40 in all. Request numbered 29 was as follows:
"29. Although one may become a member of a conspiracy without full knowledge of all the terms of the conspiracy, a person who has no knowledge of conspiracy, but happens to act in a way which furthers some object or purpose of the conspiracy, does not thereby become a conspirator." The Court refused to charge the foregoing request "because I have already repeated the charge in my main charge." However the court did charge defendants' request numbered 32 which is as follows:
"32. Without knowledge, the intent to commit the crime charged cannot exist. Furthermore, to establish the intent, the evidence of knowledge must be clear and unequivocal. This because charges of conspiracy are not to be made out by building inference upon inference." The request of defendants numbered 29 which the Court refused to charge, was preceded by defendants' request numbered 28 which was charged, and which read as follows:
"28. Four essential elements are required to be proved in order to establish the offense of conspiracy charged in the indictment:
"First: That the conspiracy described in the indictment was willfully formed and was existing at or about the time alleged.
Second: That the accused willfully became members of the conspiracy.