Hammerschmidt v. United States,
265 U.S. 182 (1924)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hammerschmidt v. United States, 265 U.S. 182 (1924)

Hammerschmidt v. United States

No. 254

Argued April 29, 30, 1924

Decided May 26, 1924

265 U.S. 182


1. Section 37 of the Criminal Code (Rev.Stats., § 5440) punishing conspiracy " to defraud the United States in any manner or for any purpose," does not embrace a conspiracy to defeat the purpose of the Selective Draft Act by inducing persons to refuse to register under it. P. 265 U. S. 185.

2. To "defraud" the United States means to cheat the government out of property or money, or to interfere with or obstruct one of its lawful governmental functions by deceit, craft, or trickery, or at least by means that are dishonest. P. 265 U. S. 188.

3. But mere open defiance of the governmental purpose to enforce a law by urging those subject to it to disobey it is not a "fraud" in this sense. Id. Haas v. Henkel, 216 U. S. 462, explained; Horman v. United States, 116 F. 350, limited.

287 F. 817 reversed.

Certiorari to review a judgment of the circuit court of appeals affirming a conviction and sentence in a prosecution for conspiracy to defraud the United States by dissuading persons, by handbills, etc., from registering for military service

Page 265 U. S. 185

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