LEVI MORTGEN AND JOSEPH LUPPA
Two Swindling Jews, transported for Seven Years for a Conspiracy to defraud
THIIS brace of Hebrew villains were indicted at Hicks's Hall for a conspiracy to defraud Mr Long, the keeper of an hotel in Dover Street, Piccadilly, of the sum of eight pounds, which they obtained from him under false pretences.
Mr Long deposed that Mortgen went to his hotel, and represented himself as the agent of a Russian family. After looking over the different apartments, he stated that he was deputed to take the most elegant, for two Russian princes and two princesses, who had arrived at Portsmouth, and were only waiting the arrival of passports to proceed to London. The prisoner engaged apartments, and said he was then going to the Alien Office to obtain passports. He was afraid that he might not have cash enough in his pocket to accomplish his object and, after a seeming delicacy, he ventured to ask the loan of eight pounds until his return. His manner was so convincing that the loan was granted. Soon after this Luppa appeared, as a servant, in which character he represented himself as a messenger from the Russian party, and after being informed that apartments had been engaged by Mortgen he affected to be acquainted with his character, etc., talked about the instructions he had received, and begged to see the apartments. He ordered a supper to be ready at nine o'clock, and took leave. Mortgen informed the hotel-keeper that he had got an order to draw on Abraham Goldsmid, Esq., to the amount of five hundred pounds, and that on his return in the evening he would deposit one hundred pounds in order to ensure the keeping of the rooms. He, however, soon made his appearance again, and, saying he could not get cash that evening, requested a further loan of one pound to expedite the arrival of the Russians. This sum, however, was refused; and as the parties did not attend to partake of the supper their conduct was suspected, and they were apprehended. The prisoners were genteel- looking men, and had the appearance of foreigners. On searching them, documents were found which gave rise to an opinion that their depredations had been very general. The conspiracy was clearly proved, and the jury found both the prisoners guilty.
Luppa presented several passports received by him from the British Government, and expressed a hope that the Court would mitigate his punishment, on the ground that he had brought off one hundred and fifty pieces of cannon from Hanover when the French took possession of that city. The sentence of the Court was that the prisoners should be transported for seven years.