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U.S. Supreme Court

Various Items of Personal Property v. United States, 282 U.S. 577 (1931)

Various Items of Personal Property v. United States

No. 114

Argued January 27, 1931

Decided February 24, 1931

282 U.S. 577


1. There is no constitutional objection to the forfeiture of property used in defrauding the United States of the exaction provided by § 600(a) of the Revenue Act cf 1918, as amended (which imposes a "tax," greater than and including the basic tax, on all distilled spirits diverted to beverage purposes), whether such exaction be a true tax or a penalty, or partly one and partly the other. P. 282 U. S. 579.

2. Where a diversion was accomplished by the withdrawal of pure alcohol, which was then specially denatured and in that condition sold, to the contemplated end that, after it had passed into the hands of purchasers, it would be "cleaned" and finally used for beverage purposes, it was a diversion of distilled spirits to beverage purposes under § 600(a). P. 282 U. S. 580. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 282 U. S. 578

3. Proceedings under R.S. §§ 3257 and 3281 to forfeit a distillery used in defrauding the United States of the tax on spirits imposed by § 600(a), Revenue Act of 1918, are at barred, under § 5 of the Willis-Campbell Act or the Fifth Amendment, by the prior conviction of the owner of a conspiracy to violate the National Prohibition Act involving the transactions set forth in the libel. P. 282 U. S. 580.

4. The Court is not required to go outside the record to consider a question not considered by the court below nor referred to in the application for certiorari, and in respect of which no instructions to the jury were asked or given. P. 282 U. S. 582.

40 F.2d 422 affirmed.

Certiorari, post, p. 818, to review a Judgment affirming a judgment of the district court declaring a forfeiture of premises to the Government in a proceeding under R.S. §§ 3257 and 3281.

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