Friday, December 14, 2007

Want To Be A Juror Deciding Important Cases? Be Careful It May All Be About Money Warns R.K. of Naperville

Dollar Bill, a regular contributor, is fond of saying it is all about money. In one case, it was in fact all about money. In Hagerstown, Maryland, Circuit Judge Theresa M. Adams granted the defense a mistrial when Moses M. Streete, accused of armed robbery, was found guilty in large part because the jury found a wad of cash in his coat during the trial. $1,300, a rubber glove and a bandage apparently went unnoticed by police, prosecutors and the defense until jurors examined the coat during deliberations in October.

Circuit Judge Theresa M. Adams granted the defense motion Wednesday for a new trial in Frederick at what was to have been Moses M. Streete's sentencing hearing. She ordered Streete held without bail. "You would think with all the law enforcement people that had been involved with the case that everything would have been gone over with a fine-toothed comb - and then that fine-toothed comb would have had another fine-toothed comb going over it," said juror Christine Bowersox.

Assistant State's Attorney Deborah Kemp apparently did not do a thorough enough job when she checked the coat pockets before the trial. Defense attorney Scott L. Rolle said he had not gone through the pockets. (How unlikely is it for any attorney to not sniff out the money in any case?)

In an unrelated case, a jury will decide who the owner of $182,000 in cash found by Bob Kitts, a contractor remodeling a bathroom. The cash is rare Depression-era U.S. currency. Kitts is suing to force the homeowner to give his at least share of the money. 83 year old Amanda Reece, a class mate of Kitts apparently thinks all the money should be hers. The currency, issued in 1927 and 1929, may be worth as much as $500,000, to collectors.

Think you may be a juror ready to decide the fate of such cases? Not so fast, R.K. of Naperville warns. The FBI has warned of a scam involving a person claiming to be a "jury coordinator." If you say you never received a summons for jury duty, the caller asks for your social security number and date of birth so he can verify the information and cancel any warrant. Once you give this information, your identification is stolen! The scam has been carried out in several states. Never give this information over the phone. Contact your local court directly to verify any jury duty!

For more information, see: or


Anonymous said...

Good warning!

blond bombshell said...

Good Link. Jees thanks, I wound up on FBI site!


dollar bill said...

how could lawyers ever fail to find the cash?

Dollar Bill

Anonymous said...

Great article! I am aware of a person who was involved in this scam! Almost got caught but spouse stopped him and then called court house to determine it was scam! Beware!

Anonymous said...

With regard to the found money. It is sick, what money does to people!

Anonymous said...

Money is the root of all evil. Send it my way and I will rid you of the problem.


Ms. Calabaza said...

Thanks for the tip on the scam. Legal Pub, who do you think has a better shot at the civil war currency? The homeowner? The contractor?

Legal Pub said...

Great question Ms. C. The irony is that the money probably belongs to neither. I would not be the least bit surprised that to find that the money was the product of a bank robbery or alcohol sale during prohibition.

Nevertheless, in the absence of evidence that it was stolen, it is hard to believe a contractor can find something on your property and then claim it to be his.

I suggest that they donate the entire amount to soup kitchens around the world.

Ms. Calabaza said...

Great idea. It's the season, after all.

Anonymous said...

I was going to stay quiet. But soup kitchens? Not! WTF? No worky no eaty. Oh, sorry…not PC. Ever hear about the grasshopper and the ant?

As for the money, I would strongly contend it is the property of the property owner. A fee simple absolute is, after all, a fee simple absolute. Possession and ownership of the money was conveyed with the property.


California Surfer Dude said...

The way of the wave rules and it says, "Finders Keepers." I can't tell ya L.S., how many boarders use metal detectors on the beaches to pick up change for lunch.

Aluminum cans and scrap are another healthy source of jingle in the pouch. I definitely like the Legal Pub Grass hopper and Ant story.

But that makes me side with the contractor dude who found the money. He was the only "ant" breaking a sweat.

Surfer Dude

colleency said...

Surfer Dude - Contractor Ant was breaking a sweat on Gramma Ant's nickel. She had already sweated, showered, and dried off - then hired him to do some work.

I side with Grams.

Anonymous said...

Iron Mike said...

Surfer Dude, I found 12 dollars in my wife's coat that I wore to shovel the side walk. Is that now my 12 dollars?

Iron Mike