United States v. New South Farm & Home Co. - 241 U.S. 64 (1916)
U.S. Supreme Court
United States v. New South Farm & Home Co., 241 U.S. 64 (1916)
United States v. New South Farm & Home Company
Argued April 7, 1916
Decided April 21, 1916
241 U.S. 64
While the fraudulent advertisements covered by the provisions of § 215, Criminal Code, prohibiting using the mails for advertisements, may not include those which merely puff the article to be sold by exaggerating its qualities, it does prohibit using the mails for fraudulent statements assigning to such article qualities which it does not possess.
An article alone is not necessarily the inducement and compensation for its purchase, but the use to which it may be put and the purpose it may serve, and there is deception and fraud within the meaning of § 215, Criminal Code, when the article is not of the character represented, and hence does not serve the purpose.
Persons employing such representations, if they are false, are engaged in a scheme to defraud within the meaning of § 215, Criminal Code.
The demurrer to an indictment under § 215, Criminal Code, having been sustained and the government having appealed under the Criminal Appeals Act, and the appellee having contended that the court below passed only on the sufficiency of the indictment, and did not consider the statute, held that, although such contentions did involve a consideration of the indictment, they involved also the construction of the statute; but, in reversing the district court as to its action in sustaining the demurrer, this Court has no intention of controlling the district court in its construction of the indictment and, so remands the case.
The facts, which involve the construction and application of § 215 of the Federal Criminal Code, are stated in the opinion.