Charge of Embezzlement. - Virgil G. Page, a canal boat Captain, got $177 advance on a load of lumber shipped by Messrs. Smith & Post, and afterwards abandoned his boat between this place and Syracuse, taking away with him all his movable effects, including four horses and left for parts - at that time - unknown.
Officer Spencer of the police force started on a journey of discovery, and, in the assumed capacity of a horse buyer, overhauled Mr. page at Watertown where he lives. After learning the true character of the "horse buyer" by an arrest, Page admitted that he had deserted the boat, and appropriated the advance, but did not seem much exercised about the consequences, as this sort of thing has been done so often that it hardly seemed dishonest.
Previously to last winter this sort of thing was only rated as a breach of trust, and our shippers here have been swindled out of thousands of dollars in this same way. Under the old law there was no way to proceed for recovery of monies advanced except by civil process, as in the case of debt, and many of the boatmen are not aware that a new law was passed by the Legislature this spring, making the appropriation to private use, of monies advanced by shippers, a felony, and punishable as such. From chapter 729 of the laws of New York, entitled "an act to amend section sixty-two of article five of title three, of chapter one, of part four of the Revised Statutes, relative to robbery, embezzlement and larceny, passed May 12, 1865," we make the following quotation, which we commend to the attention of all whom it may concern:
"And if any carrier or other person, who shall have received any advance for the cost or price of freight upon any property received or to be received for transportation or carriage, or who shall have received any advance for the payment of tolls, or for the payment of any other private or public charge upon the right of transit, shall, with only the consent of the person making such advance, convert or apply the said advance to his own use or to any other purpose than that for which said advance was made, or shall secrete the same, or shall refuse to apply the same to the purpose for which he received the same, shall, upon conviction thereof, be deemed guilty of embezzlement, and shall be punished in the manner prescribed by law for feloniously steeling property of the value of the advance so converted, or applied or secreted.
"This act shall take effect immediately."