Author: Stefan Cassella

Seizure of Bitcoin in Ransomware / Colonial Pipeline Case

The Government used the civil forfeiture laws to seize 67.3 bitcoin, valued at over $2 million, that was traceable to the ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline in the May 2021 ransomware case.   The following are the warrant and probable cause affidavit showing how the FBI traced the ransom payment using blockchain analysis. Colonial Pipeline Affidavit […]

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ACAMS Webinar: Intro to Asset Forfeiture for Bank Compliance Officers

On June 2, 2021, I joined FBI SA Dennis Lormel (ret.) in presenting an introduction to asset forfeiture for bank compliance officers entitled, “Webinar: Understand How Law Enforcement Uses Asset Forfeiture to Fight Criminals.”  The program was sponsored by ACAMS and hosted by Scott Grob. After explaining the basic “why” and “how” of asset forfeiture, […]

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Administrative Forfeiture in the United States

On May 21, 2021 I had the opportunity to give a talk on administrative forfeiture at the 13th National Symposium on Money Laundering and Financial Crimes at the Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, in Toronto.  The following is the text of my presentation.  It explains the policy reasons for doing uncontested asset forfeiture cases […]

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Report for the Cullen Commission: Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture in the United States

The Cullen Commission is an official body in Vancouver, British Columbia, inquiring into the need to enact legislation enhancing the province’s criminal money laundering statutes and related asset forfeiture laws.  This report, which was submitted into evidence before the Commission on May 10, 2021, along with sworn testimony, summarizes the money laundering and asset forfeiture […]

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Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020

In December 2020, Congress passed the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020, the most comprehensive revision of the money laundering provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act (31 U.S.C. 5311, et seq.) since the enactment of the USA Patriot Act in 2001.  The following are a two-page summary of the provisions of the Act that have a […]

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Criminal Forfeiture Procedure — 2020 Lecture Outline

This is the lecture outline for the NAAUSA-sponsored webinar on Criminal Forfeiture Procedure on December 15, 2020.  Those who download the outline before the webinar will be able to follow along and have the citations to the cases being discussed. Lecture Outline

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Criminal Confiscation in Latvia

The following document is a presentation on the use of criminal and non-conviction-based confiscation under Latvia law.  The first part discusses the statutes authorizing the confiscation of criminal proceeds and instrumentalities as part of the sentence in a criminal case, and the second part discusses doing the same when no criminal prosecution is possible.  In […]

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Recovering the Proceeds of Foreign Crimes in the U.S.

My article on Recovering the Proceeds of Foreign Crimes That Are Found in the United States, which was originally published in Spanish by Transparency International, has now been revised and published in English in the North Carolina Journal of International Law, Vol. 46, No.3 (Summer 2021) at pp. 535-69.  Here are the links to the […]

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Forfeiture of Virtual Currency as Terrorist Assets

The government filed a civil forfeiture action against over 100 virtual currency accounts stolen by persons acting on behalf of North Korea from virtual currency exchanges.  The complaint alleged three theories of forfeiture: that the because the virtual currencies were sent into and out of the United States in furtherance of the theft, they were […]

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Nature and Basic Problems of Non-Conviction-Based Confiscation in the United States

My article describing the nature of non-conviction-based confiscation proceedings in the United States is now available in Spanish.  The article discusses the goals that asset forfeiture is intended to serve in the federal criminal justice system, the types of property that are subject to forfeiture, and the procedures that are used to initiate, litigate, and […]

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