Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioners were tried under a six-count indictment alleging a variety of federal gambling offenses. Each of the eight Petitioners, along with seven un-indicted co-conspirators and six co-defendants, were charged with conspiring to violate 18 U.S.C. Section:1955, a federal gambling statute making it a crime for five or more persons to conduct, manage, supervise, direct or own a gambling business prohibited by state law.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The Wharton Rule only applies to a limited category of offenses, including: adultery, incest, bigamy and dueling and is merely a judicial presumption to be applied in the absence of legislative intent.
Issue. Does the traditional application of Wharton’s Rule, a rule requiring that a conspiracy indictment be dismissed before trial on a substantive, completed offense that was the target of the conspiracy, apply to a charge for conspiracy under Section:1955?
Held. The history and structure of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 (the Act) manifest a clear and unmistakable legislative judgment that more than outweighs any presumption of merger between the conspiracy to violate Section:1955 and the consummation of that substantive offense. As a result, under this exception to the Wharton Rule, punishment and prosecution for both the conspiracy and the completed offense is permitted. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is affirmed.
In sum, the danger which a conspiracy generates is not confined to the substantive offense which is the immediate aim of the enterprise.View Full Point of Law