Heard: September 19, 2017.
found and returned in the Superior Court Department on May
cases were tried before Diane M. Kottmyer, J.
H. Erickson for the defendant.
Nixon, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.
Present: Vuono, Blake, & Singh, JJ.
a jury trial in the Superior Court, the defendant, Mohammed
T. Khan, was convicted of seven counts of larceny over $250
from a person older than the age of sixty, and was adjudged
by the trial judge to be a common and notorious
thief. The defendant appeals claiming that
the judge erred in (1) denying his motions for required
findings of not guilty, (2) instructing the jury on joint
venture liability rather than accessory after the fact, and
(3) admitting fingerprint evidence. He also claims that his
trial attorney was ineffective. We affirm.
light most favorable to the Commonwealth, Commonwealth v.
Latimore, 378 Mass. 671, 676-677 (1979), the jury could
have found the following facts.
The scam. In February, 2014, each of the four
victims received telephone calls from individuals who claimed
that the victim's grandchild was in jail and needed money
for bail. The caller directed the victims to send cash via
FedEx packages to addresses in Lowell, Massachusetts. All of
the calls originated from a Canadian area code and none of
the callers had a foreign accent.
February 12, 2014, Johnson, an eighty-six year old man living
in Utah, received a telephone call from a person identifying
himself as Johnson's grandson, Corbin, claiming that he
was in jail and needed help. Shortly thereafter, Johnson
received another telephone call from a person identifying
himself as Mr. Watson. Watson claimed that Corbin had been in
a motor vehicle accident and that, during a search, police
found drugs in the vehicle. Johnson was directed to send $7,
500 dollars in cash for Corbin's bail. Watson indicated
he would arrange for pick-up of the cash and delivery through
then received a telephone call from "the shipping
department" and was provided with a name and shipping
address: Arthur Smith, 218 Wilder Street, unit 32, Lowell.
The package was to be delivered to Lowell before 8:00 A.M.
the following day. The cash was placed in a yellow
eight-by-ten-inch envelope addressed as instructed with
Johnson's return address on the top left-hand corner. A
FedEx employee arrived at Johnson's home. The yellow
envelope was placed in a FedEx package and addressed as
next morning, Johnson received another telephone call from
Watson, who explained that while the cash had been received
and Corbin had been cleared of the drug charges, the police
also found a gun in the car. As a result of this serious
charge, Watson explained that two lawyers would be necessary
at the cost of $15, 000 each and that Corbin's bail had
been increased from $7, 500 to $27, 000. Watson said Corbin
needed approximately $50, 000 that day. Johnson cobbled
together another $42, 000 dollars in cash and sent it via
FedEx to a name and address provided by Watson: Ryan
Pederson, 282 Salem Street, apartment 9, Lowell. The money
was packaged and sent in a similar fashion to the first cash
following day, Johnson received yet another telephone call
from a person asking for the balance of the money owed. When
Johnson telephoned his son to inquire about Corbin, Johnson
realized he was the target of a scam. That same day, a person
telephoned Johnson indicating that the money should be sent
to an address in the Bronx, New York. Johnson did not send
any more money and filed a police report.
February, 2014, Hobbs, an eighty-two year old woman who also
lives in Utah, received a telephone call from someone who
identified himself as a police officer named Stanley
O'Reilly. O'Reilly asked Hobbs if she had a
grandchild named Michael, reporting that Michael had been
arrested and needed $7, 500 for bail and other services.
Hobbs packaged the money as instructed by O'Reilly. The
next day a FedEx employee arrived to pick up the package. The
package was addressed to Stanley O'Reilly at 282 Salem
Street, apartment 9, Lowell. O'Reilly telephoned again
the next day and told Hobbs that a gun had been found in
Michael's automobile and an additional $50, ...