Warrant Sought Here for Arrest of Julius Erat

by Laurel | January 30th, 2014

27 January 1922

Attorney for Insurance Company Satisfied
When Northampton Claims Custody of Mt. Tom Man

Julius D. Erat of Mount Tom, the dapper young man who, the police claim, attempted to defraud several insurance companies to the extent of more than $90,000, by disappearing after an automobile accident in Holyoke, a week ago, just escaped arrest in Springfield yesterday morning. Attorney Frank G. Hodgkins of 24 Converse Street, Longmeadow, counsel for the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, one of the intended victims of Erat’s “game,” conferred with Judge Wallace R. Heady of district court concerning issuance of a warrant. It was agreed that the Northampton court had more jurisdiction and Erat was taken there where a warrant was lodged against him.

Arrested in Holyoke

The young man is now under arrest in Holyoke charged with malicious mischief in connection with the alleged driving of his automobile into the railing of a canal bridge there. He told the police yesterday that he would plead guilty to the charge when arraigned this morning. A small fine probably will be imposed and he will be turned over to the Northampton police who charge that he made false representation in that city who obtaining or attempting to obtain life insurance policies.

Several insurance companies having offices in Springfield are listed among the intended victims of Erat. Attorney Hodgkins was reticent last night about discussing the case. He stated that Erat tried to handle a bigger job than his capabilities demanded and that if such actions were allowed to go through successfully no insurance company would last very long. He declared that his purpose in seeing Judge Heady was to find out what could be done here to obtain a warrant for Erat’s arrest.

Erat’s Brother Involved

Adolph Erat of Mount Tom, a brother of Julius, was characterized by Capt Peter A. Cullen of the Holyoke detective bureau as the brains of the plot whereby Julius who was insured for $47,000, $40,000 of this amount carrying the double indemnity clause, disappeared after the automobile accident.

Erat told the court yesterday that he would like to get bailed out and secure a lawyer. He said that he thought he might be able to get the necessary bail. The court informed him that he might find it rather hard to get bail as he ran away after the automobile accident and this incident would lead anyone approached to think he might run away again. Erat in the dock yesterday morning was far from being the dapper-looking chap that his friends previous to his arrest pictured. His hair was tousled and, while dressed neatly, his general appearance was one of dejection.

Judge John Hildreth before setting the hearing for today told the defendant that it would probably be best to arrange for an immediate hearing because if he could not get bail he would have to languish in a cell until the hearing was held. Erat said that there was no one in the courtroom with whom he could talk. his brothers and sisters had not put in an appearance at court time, but later his sister and a younger brother came to the office of Capt Peter A. Cullen.

Declines to Say much

Erat, according to Capt. Cullen, regardless of the grilling given him on the return trip from new york Wednesday night, refused to tell anything about the automobile accident. he did tell a few things, however, which clearly indicate, in the opinion of the police, that the “accident” was staged, and that Adolph Erat, Julius’s brother,w as in on the frame-up.

Adolph called at the police station Monday night and related many things concerning himself and Julius. He told of how he drove to Westfield from Easthampton that night. He said that he left Easthampton about 7:30 and arrived in Westfield at 12:30. Asked why it took him so long to get to Westfield he said that he got stalled on the way. He said that he last saw Julius at Mt. Tom about 7:30 and that he had given Julius $5.

Julius tells a story which greatly contradicts that of Adolph. He says that about 8:30 on Friday night he got stalled near the Mt. Tom Golf Club and that Adolph came along in the machine which he was driving and towed him to Yoerg’s garage. Adolph did not mention this feature of his trip to the police at all and this with other incidents lead the police to believe as they have thought all along that Adolph knew more than he cared to tell the police.

Julius told Capt. Cullen that he left for New York about 2:23 on Saturday morning. He said that he walked from Holyoke to Springfield. the police are now considering the theory that Adolph took Julius to Springfield after the accident and then proceeded on his way to Westfield.

Had Been Refused More Insurance

Adolph, when called by telephone at his home yesterday morning, at first expressed surprise tat Julius had returned to Holyoke. later, he said that Chief of Police George Cook had informed him that his brother was found in new York. When told by a reporter that his brother had been located in New York and brought to Holyoke, he wanted to know if he was sick of “cut up.” Later, however, he showed that the news was no surprise to him

Capt. Cullen also stated yesterday morning that it has been practically established that Erat recently had been refused about $500,000 worth of insurance which he had endeavored to take out in addition to the policies he already holds. It was known that he had been refused $25,000.

Erat’s plan in taking out a policy was to state in answer to the question whether or not he held other policies that he held no other ones. It is up to the insurance companies, according to Capt. Cullen, to bring the more serious charge of attempting to defraud an insurance company, against the defendant. Capt. Cullen was accompanied to New York Wednesday afternoon by a lawyer for an insurance company who had furnished the required data relative to the policies.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

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