• U.S.

Business & Finance: Technical Guilt

2 minute read
TIME

When the wire-bound corpse of one Dominic Tarro was fished out of the Sangamon River near Springfield, Ill., last year, Corn Products Refining Co. was interested. For the next day Dominic Tarro was to have appeared in court to be tried for conspiracy to violate the Prohibition Amendment. And great Corn Products Refining Co. was to have been a codefendant. having been charged with selling corn sugar to Dominic Tarro for illicit purposes.

Last week the Government settled its case against Corn Products. The company admitted “technical guilt,” was fined $5,000. Thereupon many a Prohibition student wondered how many more U. S. business concerns would have to admit “technical guilt” if like charges were brought against them. Common is the assumption that distributors of malt & hops, makers of bottles, flasks, corks and alcohol depend for much of their trade on individuals and groups who break the Prohibition Amendment.

Available for conjecture is the Prohibition Bureau’s annual report of last year which estimated that of the total calculated production of 894.986.000 Ib. of corn sugar in 1929, it was impossible to account legally for 534 million lb. In 1930 the eccentric finger of the law pointed to two companies, 43 individuals, accused them of participating in conspiracies to violate the Prohibition law. The cases against the others are still pending. Prominent will be that of Fleischmann Co. whose yeast is an ingredient of many a mug of beer.

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