John D. Baumann, a jute and gum merchant at 120 Maiden Lane, is seeking damages in the Supreme Court against Salvador Comas on the charge of alleged conversion, the basis of the trouble being a deal in peanuts that was never consummated to the satisfaction of Baumann.
Some time ago Baumann advertised for a partner who could put up $100,000 capital. It is said that Comas answered the advertisement, saw Baumann personally, and said the business appealed to him, but that his money was tied up for the moment. At the end of a month Comas, it is alleged, said he was ready to put up the $100,000.
A few days later he went to Baumann with a letter purporting to come from some friends in Havana, who informed him of a good opportunity to make money out of peanuts in Cuba. Colon et Cie of Havana, it is alleged, he said, would take a cargo at 6 cents a pound, and he had found a Brooklyn firm, Tulin Brothers by name, who would sell them at 5 cents a pound. The cent a pound profit, said Comas, would be divided between them.
It was agreed that Baumann and Comas would put up $2,400 each. The former says he paid Tulin Brothers $1,900 on account, and the peanuts were shipped south. Later, he alleges, he gave Comas a check for over $500 to give to the firm, and that after cashing this Camas disappeared.
In the interval the peanuts were returned from Havana by Clon [sic] et Cie, who stated that they had never made a deal with Comas, and that they did not deal in peanuts. Baumann sold the consignment for $300, and now contends that their market value was only 2 1/4 cents a pound.
Comas was arrested on Baumann's complaint in Staten Island. He furnished yesterday a bond from a surety company and was released from custody.