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Feb 4, 2020

Prosecutor appeals overturning of SC’s forfeiture laws

A prosecutor is appealing to the South Carolina Supreme Court a lower court’s ruling that the state’s forfeiture laws are not legal. Last year, Circuit Judge Steven John ruled the state and U.S. constitutions were violated by a law that allows police departments to take cash, cars, houses and other items that came from proceeds […]

Jan 9, 2019

Lawyer’s home, assets subject to forfeiture

A lawyer charged with helping his wife plunder money from the campaign chest of a Virginia state senator and two other organizations cannot shield his two homes from possible forfeiture, a federal appeals court ruled last month. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the properties are forfeitable because there is probable cause that […]

Oct 24, 2012

Administrative – Civil Forfeiture – Cultural Property – Importer – Chinese & Cypriot Coins

Ancient Coin Collectors Guild v. U.S. Customs & Border Protection, DHS The 4th Circuit rejects appellant coin importer’s challenge to the government’s seizure of coins, based on restrictions on Chinese and Cypriot cultural property under the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act, 19 U.S.C. §§ 2601-2613; Congress already has prescribed civil forfeiture as a vehicle throu[...]

Sep 19, 2012

Civil Practice – Service of Process – By Publication – Default Judgment – Motion to Vacate – Forfeiture

State ex rel. Ariail v. $88,148.45 In this civil forfeiture action, defendant Magruder was served by publication, and a default judgment was entered against her. Even though an assistant solicitor in the civil division apparently did not inquire of her fellow assistant solicitor -- who was handling the criminal cases against Magruder -- as to Magruder’s whereabouts, Magruder has failed[...]

Mar 26, 2012

Real Property – Foreclosure Action – Forfeiture – Indictment

Marzouca v. GFG Realty Fund, LLC The U.S. government filed an indictment against Federick D. Gibbs on Oct. 11, 2011 which sought forfeiture of the real property at issue. Plaintiff commenced his state foreclosure action on Nov. 21, 2011. Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 853(k)(2), after Gibbs was indicted...

Feb 24, 2012

Criminal Practice – Forfeiture – Escrow Funds – Cigarette Manufacturer – Tobacco Settlement – Nonparticipant – States’ Interest

U.S. v. State of Oregon The 4th Circuit vacates a district court forfeiture order for funds escrowed by defendant cigarette manufacturer, a nonparticipant in the tobacco-litigation settlement agreement who was prosecuted for tobacco-related crimes, because the district court granted an interest in the escrowed funds to two states who failed to prove they had a superior legal interest in t[...]

Dec 21, 2011

Criminal Practice – Forfeiture – Gambling Devices – Illegal Game

Union County Sheriff’s Office v. Henderson Even though no illegal game could be played on six of the seven seized machines at the time of the post-seizure hearing, the state presented evidence that the hard drive of each machine had an administrative record reflecting that the illegal games on the machine had been played multiple times.

Dec 9, 2011

Criminal Practice – Forfeiture — $400,000 in Currency – Drug-Trafficking – Time Deadline

U.S. v. Martin Four defendants convicted as part of a drug-trafficking operation lose their appellate challenge to the belated forfeiture of their property under 18 U.S.C. § 983, including over $400,000 in currency from several accounts, a Mercedes automobile and several million dollars in drug proceeds, as the 4th Circuit holds the time deadline for forfeiture under Rule 32.2 is not a j[...]

Jun 10, 2011

Criminal Practice – Constitutional – Excessive Fines Clause – Forfeiture – Guidelines Amount – Statutory Penalty

U.S. v. $79,650.00 Seized from Bank of America Account The 4th Circuit affirms the judgment that an Ethiopian citizen engaged in illegal currency structuring through his deposits into two different banks in Fairfax, Va.; however, the appellate court says the district court erred in reducing the corresponding civil forfeiture of appellant's funds from $79,650 to $50,000 on Eighth Amendment[...]

Feb 1, 2011

Civil Practice – Forfeiture – First Impression – Proximity to Drugs – Case-by-Case Analysis – Source of Funds – Tracing

Gowdy v. Gibson. We do not believe the General Assembly wished to encourage drug traffickers to strategically house their cash stores so as to evade seizure by the government. Establishing a bright-line . . .

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