Author: Stefan Cassella

FINTRAC: Canada’s Financial Intelligence Unit

This paper by Jeff Simser looks at the role played FINTRAC, Canada’s Financial Intelligence Unit, in the battle against organized crime and money laundering.  It builds off of the report entitled “Dirty Money” by Peter German (March 2019) on money laundering in the casino industry and other financial institutions in Canada. Jeff Simser Article on […]

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Who Will Recover Jeffrey Epstein’s Assets?

With his death, the Government’s effort to recover Jeffrey Epstein’s assets as part of his criminal case comes to an end, but it may still recover those assets — and distribute them to his victims —  by using civil forfeiture. Epstein Article CNN Interview

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Subpoenaing Records From a Foreign Bank – Section 5318(k)

The article, reprinted from the July 2019 issue of the Money Laundering and Forfeiture Digest, explains the decision of the district court in In Re Grand Jury Investigation, upholding the issuance of a subpoena for foreign bank records that was served on a Chinese bank pursuant to 31 U.S.C. Section 5318(k) — a provision of […]

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Reaching the Unreachable: Attacking the Assets of Serious and Organised Criminality in the UK in the Absence of a Conviction

This article by journalist Helena Wood examines the statutory basis for non-conviction-based (“civil”) forfeiture in the UK, the history of the attempts to implement those provisions, their successes and failures, and the lessons to be learned from other common law countries with more robust civil forfeiture systems, including the US, Ireland and South Africa.  It […]

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Forfeiture and the First Amendment

Does the forfeiture of expressive material used by a criminal organization violate the First Amendment? A district court in Los Angeles has held that the forfeiture of the trademark logo of the Mongol Nation motorcycle club — an organization that has been convicted under the RICO statute of conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder […]

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Lecture: Asset Forfeiture in the United States

This is a presentation given at the Seminar on Recovery of State Assets and Regulation of Confiscation in Chile, Apr. 9, 2018, at Adolfo Ibanez University, Santiago, Chile. It begins by explaining the structure of the federal criminal justice system in the United States and the role that asset forfeiture plays in it. It then […]

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Does the Excessive Fines Clause Apply to Civil Forfeiture Actions Filed in State Court?

On November 28, 2018, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Timbs v. Indiana, a case in which the Court will decide whether the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment applies to the states in civil asset forfeiture cases.  This article summarizes the facts of the case, the constitutional issue raised, the arguments of counsel, and […]

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Podcast: Asset Forfeiture and AML Compliance

In this podcast, John Byrne of AML Right Source interviews former federal prosecutor Stef Cassella on the use the government makes of the asset forfeiture laws in money laundering and other cases.  The conversation covers the types of cases in which the government uses criminal and non-conviction-based forfeiture, the due process protections that are built […]

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Alternative Approaches to Pursuing and Disrupting Terrorist Financing

This lecture outline discusses the alternative approaches to disrupting terrorist financing, ranging from the criminal prosecution of terrorists coupled with the confiscation of their assets to the non-conviction-based forfeiture of the assets of terrorist organizations.  It highlights both terrorism-specific statutes such as 18 U.S.C. 981(g) as well as other statutes that have been instrumental in […]

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Intro to Money Laundering and Forfeiture for a Foreign Audience

These two lectures introduce the concepts of money laundering and asset forfeiture, as applied under federal law in the United States, to a foreign audience.  They were presented at the seminar on Governance and Anti-Corruption at the International Law Institute in Washington DC on November 7, 2018. Introduction to Money Laundering for a Foreign Audience […]

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