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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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This article was contributed by Kay Reitberger

Sheboygan Press - December 27, 1912

Allege Swindle

Change of Venue Papers Filed at Oshkosh in the Case of the State vs Louis DE RYDER -- Important to Sheboygan

{Oshkosh Northwestern}

Clerk of the Circuit Court John H. LAABS today received the papers in the case of the State of Wisconsin vs. Louis DE RYDER, alias George SMITH, which is to be tried in the circuit court of this county, on a change of venue from Sheboygan county.

This case is of local as well as general interest from the fact that the defendant is said to have stayed in Oshkosh for a time, during which he is alleged to have done a part of the criminal proceedings for which he is held. It is charged that DE RYDER, or SMITH, conspired with Charles MORAN, alias Chappie MORAN, O. C. MAXON, alias O. C. JENNINGS, and other persons to cheat and defraud Charles VOIGT of Sheboygan out of $6,300 and that they succeeded in so cheating and defrauding VOIGT out of that amount.

This occurred in December, 1910, it is alleged, and DE RYDER and MORAN are said to have roomed here for a week at the home of Mrs. Elizabeth SPIKES at 129 Light street about that time. Mrs. SPIKES was a witness for state at DE RYDER's preliminary examination, held in the municipal court on August 29, and identified the defendant as one of the two young men who had rented a suite of rooms from her in December, 1910. They said they were brothers and their name was SMITH, she testified.

Mr. VOIGT in his testimony at the examination declared that he was brought here by MORAN, whom he had previously met in Sheboygan, and introduced to DE RYDER or SMITH at the latter's rooms at 129 Light street. MORAN, he said, had retained him as attorney for the purpose of endeavoring to purchase outstanding shares of stock in a smelting company near Denver; that DE RYDER or SMITH held some of this stock and that MORAN secured an option to purchase it for $700, paying $50 for the option, with the understanding that is the $700 was not paid the certificate was to be returned to DE RYDER.

MORAN, VOIGT testified, claimed his father was a practicing physician at San Francisco; that he had several sisters and a brother; that the brother was a private secretary to the general manager of the smelting company, which was doing a very successful business and that the general manager and other members of the board of directors desired to buy enough of the outstanding stock to secure control of the company; that he had engaged MORAN to help purchase this stock and finally agreed if VOIGT would advance $6,300 to aid in securing options he would be given a third-interest.

VOIGT furnished the money after he and MORAN had visited supposed stockholders at Decatur, Ill., Madison and other places. At Decatur an ostensible stockholder was O. C. MAXON, alias O. C. JENNINGS. After VOIGT had paid over the money, MORAN, MAXON and others implicated in the alleged swindle "flew the coop," as Mr. VOIGT put it, but DE RYDER or SMITH was arrested later and is now held for trial as noted. Mr. VOIGT is a practicing attorney at Sheboygan and was formerly district attorney of Sheboygan county.

At the preliminary examination of DE RYDER, District Attorney COLLINS of Sheboygan county appeared for the prosecution and Attorney W. B. RUBIN of Milwaukee for the defendant. The only witnesses examined were Mrs. SPIKES, Mr. VOIGT and the chief of police of Sheboygan. The defendant offered no testimony in his own behalf and was held for trial. Bail was fixed at $5,000 and in default of furnishing it he was committed to the Sheboygan county jail.

It is declared that the game worked upon Mr. VOIGT had been successfully played upon a number of others in various parts of the country by a gang of rascals and their "stool pigeons," of whom the defendant in this claim is claimed to be one.

Sheboygan Press - January 20, 1913

Goes By Secret Route

Louis DE RYDER is Smuggled Out of the City by Sheriff FISCHER -- Boards Train at Plymouth, Wisconsin for Oshkosh

With the idea of giving no one an opportunity to see Louis DE RYDER when he left this city today for Oshkosh for trial on the charge of embezzlement, Sheriff FISCHER took him over on the street car as far as Plymouth, at which point they boarded the train.

The fact that DE RYDER has been able to secure some of the most talented lawyers in the country to defend him and that without seemingly any finds, has led the officials to believe that some of his confederates are backing him. Besides securing Attorney RUBIN of Milwaukee, he had BOUCK & HILTON of Oshkosh, exceedingly high priced lawyers.

It had been planned to take DE RYDER to the station this morning to make the 7:05 train west, but the district attorney and sheriff received some inkling Saturday that an effort would be made on the part of strangers to confer with DE RYDER at the depot, and with the idea of preventing this, the plans were switched at the last moment. When DE RYDER was taken off the car he was handcuffed and carefully guarded on his trip to Oshkosh.

District Attorney COLLINS and several witnesses for the state including Attorney Chas. VOIGT went over on the morning train.

When the case was called today Judge BOLDEN of Racine presided. Judge BURNELL of Oshkosh who was ill was unable to preside, and Judge BOLDEN was called in to take his place.

The case of DE RYDER will probably be on for the greater part of the week as witnesses have been summoned from this and other states. This is the famous case in which Attorney Chas. VOIGT lost some $6,300 through the clever swindling some alleged to have been worked by DE RYDER and his pals. DE RYDER being listed as the so-called stool pigeon.

Sheboygan Press - January 22, 1913

(There is a photo of District Attorney Collins)

Charles Voigt Takes The Stand

In Circuit Court at Oshkosh He Tells How DE RYDER and MORAN Swindled Him Out of $6,300 -- Case Attracts Wide Attention -- Will Be On Most of Tomorrow -- District Attorney Says Evidence Will Be Direct.

Oshkosh, Wis., Jan. 22 - The state closed its case this afternoon at 3:30 o'clock with the testimony of Joseph PHALLER[?]. cashier of the Bank of Sheboygan. The attorneys for the defendant DE RYDER moved for his discharge, Judge BELDON denying the motion and the defense will have its closings tomorrow. The defense will be very brief and in all probability the case will go to the jury Thursday afternoon.

Oshkosh, Wis. Jan 22 - Attorney Charles VOIGT, who lost $6,300 was the principal witness for the state in the DE RYDER case.

After the case was called for trial yesterday afternoon, District Attorney W. B. COLLINS read the information, setting forth the crime charged against the defendant and the latter entered a plea of not guilty. He was thereupon ordered committed to the Winnebago county jail in default of furnishing $5,000 bail pending the disposition of his case. The process of securing a jury was then begun and completed without much trouble, as it was necessary to excuse only three or four of the first twelve talesmen sworn. One of them was excused because he stated that he would be unwilling to convict a man upon circumstantial evidence. It is understood that considerable of the evidence to be introduced against the defendant is of a circumstantial character.

During the securing of the jury the defendant was represented by BOUCK & HILTON of Oshkosh.

After the jury was secured court took a recess until 9:15 o'clock Tuesday morning. Following are the names of the jurors in the case, the trial of which may occupy several days: Otto C. LAABS, Herman GINNOW, August NOLTE, Louis W. [?????], Albert A. SCHWARTZ, Frank SCHENCK, John J. DAVIS, Bert JONES, Gustave STEINKE, James LEE, Andrew FREDRICKSON, and E. S. HINMAN. Before the jurors were excused they were instructed not to talk about the case with anyone.

DE RYDER, or SMITH, is charged with having entered into a criminal conspiracy with Charles H. MORAN, alias Chappie MORAN, O. C. MAXON, alias O. C. JENNINGS, and others to cheat and defraud Charles VOIGT, out of $6,300, and that they succeeded in cheating and defrauding him out of that amount.

The alleged crime was committed in December 1910, and its operations included this city, Oshkosh and Decatur, Ill. DE RYDER, MORAN and MAXON, it is alleged, got the money from VOIGT through false representation concerning the stock of a mining concern in Colorado called the Queen Princess Copper Mining company. In the complaint against DE RYDER, who was the only one of the alleged swindlers caught it is charged that he succeeded in defrauding VOIGT "by false and privy tokens and subtle means and devices and by falsely impersonating another."

When circuit court reconvened Tuesday to go on with the trial of the case of the state vs Louis DE RYDER, alias George SMITH, Attorney Frank FAWCETT of Milwaukee appeared as counsel for the defense instead of W. B. RUBIN, who was expected to be here, as he had been retained by the defendant, with BOUCK & HILTON of counsel.

Mr. FAWCETT started out by interposing objections to the taking of testimony in the case, the form in which the information was drawn etc., all of which objections and motions were overruled by Judge BELDON. With the consent of District Attorney W. B. COLLINS of Sheboygan county, who is conducting the prosecution for the state, all motions made at this time by Mr. FAWCETT will stand in the record as having been made before the jury was empaneled, for the reason that the counsel for the defense did not know the case was to be called for trial yesterday afternoon.

To the first count of the information Mr. FAWCETT entered a demurer on the ground that its general allegations are insufficient and he also moved that the second count be stricken out entirely. When these motions were denied he asked information be separated into three counts instead of two, which request was not granted.

Conspiracy Laid Bare

The jury was then again called in and the trial of the case was begun in earnest, District Attorney COLLINS making a statement of the action and what the state expected to prove to the jury. Contrary to first impressions, Mr. COLLINS stated that the evidence against the defendant would be largely direct instead of circumstantial. He read the complaint against DE RYDER and went into the details of the case in order that the jurors might have a clear understanding of its nature.

Following Attorney COLLINS opening statement, Charles VOIGT, a Sheboygan lawyer, the complaining witness, was called to the stand and occupied the remainder of the forenoon session in telling his story of how DE RYDER and others entered into an alleged conspiracy to cheat and defraud him out of $6,300 through the sale of mining stock which it developed was worthless. Mr. VOIGT related in great detail all of the circumstances which culminated in the alleged swindle, which he declared DE RYDER, Charles H. MORAN, O. C. MAXON and others had worked upon him. MORAN he testified was the first man to approach him in the transaction, which had its inception in Sheboygan, and DE RYDER was the man, he declared, whom he met in Oshkosh under the name of George SMITH and to whom he paid $700 for $1,000 worth of the stock of the Queen Princess Mining company.

How It Worked

Mr. VOIGT testified that he did not lose on this transaction, for he sent the stock to a St. Louis brokerage firm, whose address was given him by MORAN, and in return received $1,500 for it. DE RYDER, or SMITH, had on the occasion of the visit of MORAN and VOIGT to Oshkosh consented to sell his stock for $700 and MORAN had paid him $50 for the option, good for ten days. Mr. VOIGT testified that after the stock had been disposed of through the St. Louis concern DE RYDER called him at Sheboygan and said he wanted to withdraw the option he had given, saying he had learned that the stock was worth considerable more then he had supposed. Mr. VOIGT could not give him back the option or return the stock and therefore paid him $700, the option price, making the payment with a check drawn on the bank of Sheboygan. This check DE RYDER cashed after being identified at the bank by Mr. VOIGT himself and the check was introduced in evidence. It was endorsed "George SMITH," to whom Mr. VOIGT had made it payable.

MORAN had brought Mr. VOIGT to Oshkosh to see "SMITH" who had some of the stock MORAN claimed he was trying to buy up because it was of far greater value then many of its holders thought and was found at the home of Mrs. Eliza SPIKES, 129 Light street, where "SMITH" had engaged a room and pretended to be engaged in the moving picture business. MORAN and "SMITH" also pretended they were unacquainted with each other when they first met here in VOIGT's presence, the witness testified.

Unable To Sell

After the deal with "SMITH" was closed at Sheboygan and the latter had ostensibly returned to Oshkosh, Mr. VOIGT joined MORAN at Decatur, Ill., where the two had previously negotiated for the purchase of a large block of the same kind of stock from O. C. MAXON, alias O. C. JENNINGS. The deal was closed by Mr. VOIGT paying over $6,300 in return for which he was given the stock. MORAN then left Mr. VOIGT on a plausible pretext and the latter took the stock to St. Louis to dispose of through the firm that had taken the shares secured from "SMITH." The ostensible head of the firm, a man named COWAN, was not in the city and the man in charge said he was not authorized to negotiate any deal calling for the expenditure of so great an amount of money. To cut the story, Mr. VOIGT after making unsuccessful efforts to locate MORAN or MAXON and to dispose of the stock, realized that he had been made the victim of a conspiracy and swindle in which he believed DE RYDER, MORAN and MAXON and others were implicated.

Sheboygan Press - January 23, 1913

Testimony Of Chief Scheck Read In

Miss LOEBEL Reads Into Record in DE RYDER Case the Testimony of the Late Chief -- Charles VOIGT Makes Good Witness for the State -- Case is Attracting Wide Attention

Oshkosh, Wis., Jan. 23 - Practically all of the ground covered by Mr. VOIGT when he told his story of the alleged conspiracy by DE RYDER, MORAN, MAXON and others to defraud him out of $6,300 was gone over again and again in the cross-examination, but not a great deal of additional information was elicited. Mr. VOIGT testified, however, that MORAN paid him for his services and all of the expenses attached to the negotiations that finally culminated in the purpose of 10,000 shares of stock for $7,000 from O. C. MAXON at Decatur, Ill. MORAN also paid the $700 demanded by MAXON for the option. The other 6,300 was paid by VOIGT and the stock was made payable to him, although he would not admit that he was the sole owner of the stock, which he maintained he had purchased from MORAN under an agreement that he was to receive one-third of the profits rising from their subsequent sale.

As To Profit

Mr. VOIGT would not commit himself as to the amount of profit he expected to make; he did expect to make something on the deal, however, if the stock sold anywhere near what it was expected to sell for. The stock secured from DE RYDER or SMITH had sold for exactly twice what had been paid for it. After considerable badgering, Mr. VOIGT stated to the jury that to the best of his judgement the stock purchased from MAXON with his $6,300 and made payable to him in reality belongs to MORAN if the money VOIGT advanced and otherwise expended in its acquisition should be repaid to him.

It was also developed in the cross-examination that VOIGT drew the $6,300 out of the Bank of Sheboygan the day before he paid DE RYDER or SMITH $700 for the stock on which an option had been secured in Oshkosh and on the same day before he left Sheboygan to join MORAN in Chicago and close up the deal with MAXON in Decatur. The night before he left Chicago VOIGT slept with the $6,300 under his pillow, he testified. He could not recall what time he left Sheboygan next day for Chicago and Decatur, although Attorney FAWCETT made every effort to get him to fix, even approximately, the time of his departure. He stated that although he took the $6,300 with him, he had not yet positively made up his mind to go into the deal for the purchase of stock held by MAXON and upon which MORAN had paid $700 for an option.

Cases Not Similar

In reply to a direct question, Mr. VOIGT said he thought it was all right for MORAN to make $800 off "SMITH" through the purchase of the latter's stock at a price much below its real value, but he did not think it was all right for MORAN to make $6,300 off him, for in the latter case MORAN had defrauded him.

Mr. VOIGT was subjected to a grilling inquisition in an effort to break down the testimony he had given on his direct examination, but in the main he did not deviate materially from the statements he had made on any material point. Mr. VOIGT is himself a lawyer and the cross-examination, conducted by Attorney FAWCETT for the defense, at times resolved itself into a battle of wits between the examiner and witness and sharp passages between the two were not infrequent. These served to keep the interest of those in the court room keyed up to a high pitch.

At the conclusion of Mr. VOIGT's testimony, J. L. COLLINS of Milwaukee was called to the stand as a witness for the state and his examination occupied nearly all of the remainder of the morning session. Mr. COLLINS is a private detective and had been engaged by Mr. VOIGT, he testified, to run down and bring to justice the men, who, Mr. VOIGT claims, entered into a conspiracy to defraud him out of $6,300 through a deal in "fake" mining stocks.

Mr. COLLINS testified that he arrested Mr. DE RYDER at Waukegan, Ill., last summer and took him to the Sheboygan county jail. DE RYDER made no resistance to arrest and did not make a fight against extradition. Mr. COLLINS testified that in conversation with DE RYDER the latter admitted to him that he was well acquainted with Charles ("Chappie") MORAN, charged by Mr. VOIGT with having started the alleged swindling conspiracy; that he, DE RYDER, had known MORAN for several years and knew his reputation and character were bad and that MORAN had once been arrested by COLLINS on a criminal charge.

The friendly relations between DE RYDER and MORAN existed prior to December, 1910, when the alleged fraud against VOIGT was pulled off, Mr. COLLINS testified. Mr. COLLINS testified to other damaging admissions he said DE RYDER made to him following the latter's arrest and incarceration in the county jail at Sheboygan, but he would not swear that he had at any time made the statement that DE RYDER said "MORAN was no good and had double-crossed him" in the VOIGT mining deal matter. MORAN, DE RYDER said, according to Mr. COLLINS' testimony, never worked but always appeared to have plenty of money.

MORAN, it is supposed and alleged by Mr. VOIGT, acted in conjunction with DE RYDER or SMITH in working the Oshkosh end of the alleged conspiracy as related in Mr. VOIGT's testimony and reported in these columns yesterday. Ostensibly, when VOIGT and MORAN came to Oshkosh to see "SMITH" the latter and MORAN were strangers to each other.

Mr. COLLINS underwent a sharp examination at the hands of the counsel for the defense. In reply to one question, he declared that all DE RYDER told him was told voluntarily and that he had used no force or other means to get DE RYDER to talk. Replying to another query, Mr. COLLINS stated that he had endeavored to run down and arrest other men implicated in the alleged conspiracy, but had not been successful. He stated that DE RYDER told him, however, that if he, DE RYDER, could get out of jail, he could locate MORAN in Chicago.

Mr. COLLINS admitted that he had caused to be delivered to DE RYDER what purported to be a telegram from MORAN and which was signed "C. M." This "fake" telegram was written on a Western Union blank and enclosed in a regular Western Union telegraph envelope. When Mr. COLLINS was asked by Attorney FAWCETT if he did not know that using a telegraph blank and envelope in this manner was against the law, Mr. COLLINS said he did not. The purported telegram and its envelope were introduced and marked as an "exhibit."

The examination of the detective was full of interest and punctuated with objections to questions asked by the attorneys on both sides. He was finally excused from testifying further at this time and Miss Elsie LOEBEL of Sheboygan was called to the stand just before court took its usual noon recess until 2 o'clock this afternoon.

Miss LOEBEL is the stenographer who took down and transcribed the testimony given at DE RYDER's preliminary examination at Sheboygan last August and her testimony is sought to verify the stenographic report of the testimony of one witness who has since died. This witness was the late Chief of Police August SCHECK of Sheboygan.

Sheboygan Press - October 20, 1913


Chappie Moran Arrested

Principal in Swindle in Which Attorney Charles VOIGT Lost $6,300 is Taken Into Custody at Terre Haute, Indiana --- Attorney Charles VOIGT Rejoices Over Arrest of MORAN --- Wanted in Numerous Cities --- Said to Have Swindled People to the Amount of $1,000,000 --- The Cleverest Criminal in the Country.

"Chappie" MORAN, the most noted confidence man in the country, and wanted in numerous places as a swindler, including this city, where he worked a confidence game to the tune of $6,300 with a helpmate by the name of Louis DE RYDER, is under arrest at Terre Haute, Indiana, wanted on two similar charges in Texas, in which $7,000 was involved in each instance.

News of the arrest of MORAN was received by Attorney Charles VOIGT of this city, and it is planned to have MORAN returned to Decatur, Ill., to stand trial for the Sheboygan swindle, in case there is a question about his being convicted in Terre Haute, Ind. MORAN, as ring leader, and DE RYDER and O.C. MAXEN were the principals in working the clever swindle which resulted in a loss or $6,300 to Mr. VOIGT. MORAN it seems came to Sheboygan and became acquainted with Mr. VOIGT and interested him in a mining proposition. He first purchased $1,000 worth of the stock of the Queen Princess Mining Co., paying $700. On this transaction Mr. VOIGT did not lose, sending the stock to a St. Louis brokerage firm recommended by MORAN and in return received $1,500. After this transaction Mr. VOIGT went to Decatur, Ill., where the two had negotiated for the purchase of a large block of the same stock from O. C. MAXON and O. C. JENNINGS. The deal was closed by Mr. VOIGT paying $6,300 and in return was given the stock. MORAN then left VOIGT on a plausible pretext and Mr. VOIGT took the stock to St. Louis to dispose of it through the same firm which had previously paid $1,500 for the stock which he had purchased for $700. The head of the firm, a man named COWEN, was out of the city, and the man in charge said he was not authorized to negotiate any deal calling for the expenditure of so great an amount of money.

Mr. VOIGT realized he had been swindled. But as he delved into the workings of MORAN and his pals he ascertained that he was not the only victim. Their operations extended from coast to coast. As near as can be learned MORAN has fleeced people to the extent of $1,000,000 and has operated throughout the land. At one time when arrested in Chicago some years ago, he had in his possession thirty outfits, showing that he was prepared to change at a moment's notice.

The clever swindle worked on Mr. VOIGT was not a day's effort by any means. In order to accomplish the object, fake telegrams were used, telegraph wires were tapped, and several crooks figured with MORAN in his scheme. DE RYDER, who was found guilty over at Oshkosh was a party to the plan of swindling Mr. VOIGT.

DE RYDER was fined $100 and the costs of bringing the entire amount up to $600, and this was promptly paid by Milwaukee parties.

The arrest of MORAN is a feather in the cap of the Terre Haute officers, and if he is not held there for trial in all probability he will be brought to Decatur, Ill., where his conviction is assured on the charge of swindling brought by Mr. VOIGT and which can be supported by his testimony.

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