Court Rejects Move to Drop Racket Charge
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Court Rejects Move to Drop Racket Charge

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A motion to dismiss charges of conspiracy to defraud, lodged against ten messengers and telephone salesmen of the United Relief Association on the grounds of insufficient evidence was denied by Magistrate Thomas A. Aurelio in Tombs Court yesterday; The Association will put in a defense Friday.

John C. Leffler, the detective attached to the District Attorney’s office who raided the association’s office after a complaint by the Department of Public Welfare, testified yesterday that one of the solicitors told him at the time of the raid, “We make phone calls, solicit funds and use the name of Judge Silverman.”

Leffler told the court that, masquerading as a prospective contributor, he was told over the phone that Judge Silverman was speaking and that he was a Justice in the Municipal Court, in New York City.

Called to the stand by Assistant District Attorney John Sullivan, Rabbi Haim Weinberg, rabbi of the United Relief Association congregation, testified that Silverman is a magistrate in a small town in Sullivan County.


A letter signed by Judge Isaac H. Silverman, Monticello, N. Y., was produced, giving the Association permission to use his name in soliciting funds and to appoint campaign secretaries.

Magistrate Aurelio held that the salesmen could not call themselves “secretaries to Judge Silverman” without specifying that they were secretaries for the campaign. Certainly, Aurelio said, they could not legally impersonate the Judge.

Rabbi Weinberg said that he conducted the campaign but admitted that he had never been at the West Forty-fifth street office where the raid was made. He also disclaimed any knowledge of disposition of the funds collected. All this, he said, was in the hands of Nathan Iskowitz and Zisa Billick, respectively president and treasurer of the Association.

Sullivan vehemently protested the continuance of the case. “This is the sixth day of my vacation,” he complained, “and the sixth day I’ve been working. Your honor knows that having denied a motion to dismiss on the grounds of insufficient evidence you will hold the defendants for Special Sessions even if they deny every allegation.”

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