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UNITED STATES V. CARBONE, 327 U. S. 633 (1946)

U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Carbone, 327 U.S. 633 (1946)

United States v. Carbone

No. 474

Argued February 26, 27, 1946

Decided March 25, 1946

327 U.S. 633


1. The Kickback Act of June 13, 1934, provides that "whoever" shall induce any person employed on any federally financed work

"to give up any part of the compensation to which he is entitled under his contract of employment by force, intimidation, threat of procuring dismissal from such employment, or by any other manner whatsoever,"

shall be subject to the penalty therein prescribed. Appellees, union officials, were indicted for conspiring to violate the Act. The indictment charged, inter alia, that, by agreement between appellees and contractors engaged in construction of federal buildings, the contractors agreed to employ as laborers only such persons as were approved by appellees, and to discharge any such employees at appellees' request. Appellees approved for employment, besides union members, only such persons as paid appellees the sum of $5, which was to be regarded as an installment upon the union initiation fee. Payment to appellees of $5 per week thereafter was required until the full initiation fee had been paid, "or the person would not be permitted to continue work upon the said construction." Appellees, contrary to union rules, did not account to the union for moneys received from laborers who quit the employment before paying the initiation fee in full.

Held: that the indictment did not charge an offense punishable under the Kickback Act. P. 327 U. S. 637.

2. The Kickback Act must be construed in the light of the evils which it was designed to remedy. P. 327 U. S. 637.

3. The Kickback Act was not intended to affect legitimate union activity, nor to punish unlawful acts, though committed by union officials in violation of union rules, which are not in the nature of kickbacks. P. 327 U. S. 639.

4. On appeal under the Criminal Appeals Act, this Court is bound by the District Court's interpretation of the indictment as dealing with ordinary union initiation fees, rather than with kickbacks. P. 327 U. S. 641.

61 F.Supp. 882 affirmed.

Appeal under the Criminal Appeals Act from a judgment dismissing an indictment of the respondents for conspiring to violate the Kickback Act. Affirmed, p. 327 U. S. 642.

Page 327 U. S. 634

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