Ten men connected with the United Relief Associations were held for Special Sessions by Magistrate Thomas Aurelio in Tombs Court Friday.
Earlier in the week, the magistrate denied a motion to dismiss the charges. Nathan Padgug, counsel for the defendants, asked for an adjournment, but Magistrate Aurelio denied it, accusing Padgug of “dilatory tactics.”
The defendants were charged with conspiracy to defraud in connection with soliciting funds by telephone. They also were accused of using the name of Judge Isaac Silberman, a magistrate in Sullivan County.
“You’re the life of the party,” Judge Aurelio remarked sarcastically as Padgug urged him to adjourn the case despite frequent denials.
Padgug placed the ten men on the stand. Two denied they were ‘phone solicitors. Eight admitted having said over the telephone that they were secretaries to Judge Silberman.
Detective Harry Leffier, who raided the room where the men were allegedly telephoning and made the arrests, testified that he heard one say, “This is Judge Silberman speaking.”
Padgug told Judge Aurelio of the “great work the camp is doing for children,” and pleaded for leniency on the grounds that the camp is a worthy one in every respect.
Herman N. Levin, Department of Public Welfare investigator, exhibited a letter from the State Department of Health, condemning the camp. Judge Aurelio read extracts from the letter into the record.
The telephone solicitors testified they had received twenty-five per cent of funds brought in by their efforts.