Thursday, September 27, 2007

Film Star Called as Poker Witness


Norma Talmadge to Testify in Peculiar Case

New Yorker Arrested, Accused of Cheating Celebrities Out of $350,000 at Cards

NEW YORK, N, Y., March 18. — The last card in Broadway's sensational stud poker season was turned down by Justice Kernochan in the Court of Special Sessions.

It was a warrant for the arrest of Louis Krohnberg, wealthy manufacturer of women's wear, at whose home Norma Talmadge and other New York celebrities are said to have lost approximately $350,000 by the use of marked cards.

Discovery of cheating, it is said, was made during the final game of the series played at the home of Joseph Schenck, husband of Norma Talmadge.

Exposed by Actress

Guests at the party, which was held on New Year's Eve, ascribe most of the credit for the detection to Miss Talmadge, whose husband brought about a dramatic denoument by betting wildly into Krohnberg's pair of aces with a pair of kings, and then kicking Krohnberg into the street on the show down.

At the hearing Jacob Silverman, who appeared as complainant, testified that he had lost $7,300 at Krohnberg's home, and, suspecting dishonesty, had taken away one of the decks used in the game. The cards, he said, were later found to be "readers," the fleur-de-lis on their backs being marked in such a way that the player in the secret could recognise them.

Huge Penalty Possible

All the participants in the games, including Miss Talmadge, will be required to testify when Krohnberg is brought to trial. In the event that Krohnberg is found guilty, five times the amount of the players' losses may be collected and distributed among charities designated by the State.

There is some dispute concerning the amount lost by the players. Mr. Silverman says $530,000 is an approximate estimate. Krohnberg's attorneys deny all the charges and display checks aggregating $68,000 indorsed by Mr. Schneck and others as payees, which, they say, represent losses suffered by their client.

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