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Tag Archives: Forfeiture

Administrative – Civil Forfeiture – Cultural Property – Importer – Chinese & Cypriot Coins (access required)

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 through which importers can challenge seizure and detention of potentially protected property, and the importer may pursue forfeiture defenses to obtain release of articles it seeks to import.

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Civil Practice – Service of Process – By Publication – Default Judgment – Motion to Vacate – Forfeiture (access required)

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 to establish that the civil division assistant solicitor made false or fraudulent statements when she said in an affidavit that she had “exhausted all known avenues to locate” Magruder.

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Criminal Practice – Forfeiture – Escrow Funds – Cigarette Manufacturer – Tobacco Settlement – Nonparticipant – States’ Interest (access required)

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 the funds.

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Criminal Practice – Forfeiture – Gambling Devices – Illegal Game (access required)

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.

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

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 jurisdictional condition.

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Criminal Practice – Constitutional – Excessive Fines Clause – Forfeiture – Guidelines Amount – Statutory Penalty (access required)

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 grounds.

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