Category Archives: Criminal Forfeiture

Can the Government Seek Forfeiture of a Criminal Defense Attorney’s Fees? (Part 1)

By Sara Kropf The Department of Justice’s Justice Manual (formerly the U.S. Attorney’s Manual) includes a section that describes “Attorney Fee Forfeiture Guidelines.” Although technically not binding on anyone, the guidelines offer a helpful understanding of when and how DOJ … Continue reading

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What Happens If Your Client Dies While the Appeal Is Pending? (Hint: Appeals Matter)

David Brooks apparently lived a rather lavish lifestyle. As the head of a successful body armor company, he was rumored to have thrown a $10 million bat mitzvah party for his daughter that included performances by 50 Cent and Aerosmith. … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Criminal Forfeiture, Restitution | Leave a comment

Government Wins Finders Keepers: Criminal Forfeiture Cannot Be Used to Repay a Las Vegas Debt

What happens if a defendant’s cash is subject to forfeiture but he also owes someone else money? Who gets the forfeited cash? In a recent case out of the First Circuit, the court applied the forfeiture statutes to deny a … Continue reading

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Is the Government Throwing in the Towel on Pre-Trial Seizure of Untainted Assets? A Win in the Fourth Circuit Suggests Yes

Perhaps the most troubling type of criminal forfeiture is the pretrial restraint of untainted assets. The Department of Justice will seize assets, before proving a single allegation of wrongdoing, even where those assets are not linked to the wrongdoing. This … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Criminal Forfeiture, Health care fraud | Tagged | 1 Comment

Not April Fool’s: Big Win in Forfeiture Case in Supreme Court

On Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court decided Luis v. United States. It is a big win for criminal defendants and for criminal defense lawyers alike. The Court held that For the reasons stated, we conclude that the defendant in … Continue reading

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Reports of the Death of Asset Forfeiture Were Greatly Exaggerated

Asset forfeiture was supposed to be in decline. The Washington Post published a series of troubling stories about the rising use of asset forfeiture–without warrants or criminal charges–to the tune of $2.5 billion dollars since 2001. Former Attorney General Eric … Continue reading

Posted in Civil forfeiture, Criminal Forfeiture | Leave a comment

This Shouldn’t Be News: Second Circuit Affirms that Government Needs Warrant to Seize Property

The government’s aggressive methods to seize a defendant’s assets before he is convicted of a crime hinders a defendant’s ability to choose—and pay for—his lawyer. A recent Second Circuit case limits the government’s ability to do so. It is based … Continue reading

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When the Good Wife Faces Criminal Forfeiture: The Government’s Efforts to Seize a Spouse’s Assets after Conviction

The federal government’s aggressive approach to criminal forfeiture unquestionably targets innocent bystanders to crime. In fact, the law makes it easy—and profitable—for the government to do so. A recent high-profile insider trading case in New York is a prime example … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Forfeiture, Insider Trading | 5 Comments

Chief Justice Roberts Is On the Side of Criminal Defendants? His Best Quote Yet

The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to counsel. The Fifth Amendment establishes the grand jury. What happens when the right to counsel conflicts with the grand jury’s role? The grand jury wins. So says the United States Supreme Court in … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Criminal Forfeiture, Indictment | 1 Comment