Friedberg v. United States - 348 U.S. 142 (1954)
U.S. Supreme Court
Friedberg v. United States, 348 U.S. 142 (1954)
Friedberg v. United States
Argued October 20, 1954
Decided December 6, 1954
348 U.S. 142
Petitioner was convicted under § 145 af the Internal Revenue Code of willfully attempting to evade his income taxes for 1945, 1946, and 1947. The Government relied on the net worth method of proof considered in Holland v. United States, ante, p. 348 U. S. 121. Petitioner contended that, at the opening of the computation period, he had cash on hand "far in excess" of $60,000 which was not included in the Government's computation. The Government's evidence did not directly dispute this, but it did trace petitioner's finances from 1922 through 1947 and presented detailed evidence of petitioner's financial difficulties from which the jury could readily conclude that petitioner had accumulated no such financial reserve.
Held: the conviction is affirmed. Pp. 348 U. S. 143-146.
(a) The Government's detailed evidence of petitioner's financial difficulties prior to the beginning of the computation period amply justified the jury's conclusion that he had accumulated no such cash reserve as he claimed. Pp. 348 U. S. 143-144.
(b) Testimony of a government witness, on cross-examination, that he had not included any cash on hand in computing petitioner's net worth at the beginning of the computation period, because he found no evidence that petitioner had any cash on hand, was not a mere conclusion which invaded the province of the jury. Pp. 348 U. S. 144-145.
(c) There was no reversible error in the trial judge's supplemental instruction to the jury. Pp. 348 U. S. 145-146.