Rex Trailer Co., Inc. v. United States
350 U.S. 148 (1956)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Rex Trailer Co., Inc. v. United States, 350 U.S. 148 (1956)

Rex Trailer Co., Inc. v. United States

No. 46

Argued December 5, 1955

Decided January 9, 1956

350 U.S. 148

Syllabus

In an action based on § 26(b)(1) of the Surplus Property Act of 1944, the United States recovered $2,000 on each of five counts of a complaint charging petitioner with fraudulent purchases of motor vehicles. Petitioner had previously pleaded nolo contendere to a 5-count indictment arising out of the same five transactions, and paid fines aggregating $25,000.

Held:

1. The recovery under 26(b)(1) is civil in nature, and did not put petitioner twice in jeopardy in violation of the Fifth Amendment. Pp. 350 U. S. 148-162.

2. The failure of the Government to allege specific damages did not preclude the recovery here. Pp. 350 U. S. 152-153.

3. On the record in this case, it cannot be said that the measure of recovery fixed by Congress in the Act is so unreasonable or excessive that it transformed the civil remedy into a criminal penalty. Pp. 350 U. S. 153-154.

218 F.2d 880 affirmed.

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