Author: Stefan Cassella

“Manhattan Skyscraper Linked to Iran Can Be Seized by U.S., Jury Finds,”

“Manhattan Skyscraper Linked to Iran Can Be Seized by U.S., Jury Finds,” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/29/nyregion/650-fifth-avenue-iran-terrorism.html S.D.N.Y. * Claimant and another company were the co-owners of an office building on Fifth Avenue in New York and other property.  The Government alleged that the co-owner was a front for the Government of Iran, and that when Claimant provided services […]

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The Baby and the Bathwater: Forfeiture “reform” bill would undermine the Government’s ability to combat international money laundering and other serious crimes

H.R. 1795, a bill introduced in the House of Representatives to reform the civil asset forfeiture laws, would reach far beyond the seizures of cash by state and local police that have generated controversy.  In fact, it would undermine the Government’s ability to use the only tool available to combat international money laundering, kleptocracy, Russian […]

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Choose Your Weapon: Is civil forfeiture really necessary, or is it an undesirable shortcut to real law enforcement.

Choose Your Weapon: Is civil forfeiture really necessary, or is it an undesirable shortcut to real law enforcement.           Civil – or non-conviction-based – forfeiture is an increasingly common way for governments to relieve criminal wrongdoers of the proceeds of their crimes and to restore the property to the victims of the offense.  Led by […]

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Honeycutt v. United States: Supreme Court Overturns Decades of Criminal Forfeiture Law

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held on June 5, 2017, that the doctrine of Joint and Several Liability does not apply in criminal forfeiture cases, and that a defendant convicted of a conspiracy therefore is liable to forfeit only what he/she personally obtained, and not for the proceeds obtained by co-conspirators.  The following […]

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Toward a New Model for Money Laundering: Is the “placement, layering, integration” model obsolete?

This article discusses the shortcomings of the “placement/layering/integration” model of money laundering that was drawn from the pattern followed by drug cartels in the 1980s, and suggests a broader approach is needed to address modern methods of money laundering. New Model for Money Laundering.art

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Why Civil Forfeiture is an Essential Tool

Legislation has been introduced in Congress that would severely curtail the Government’s ability to use civil forfeiture as a law enforcement tool by raising the burden of proof and imposing procedural roadblocks to filing civil forfeiture cases.  The legislation is motivated by the erroneous perception that civil forfeiture is used, almost exclusively, by state and local […]

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Cultural Property: Protecting Antiquities in Syria and Iraq

This is a link to a report prepared by the Government Accountability Office on the tools and resources available to the United States to assist in protecting cultural resources in conflict zones in Syria and Iraq. Protection of Iraqi and Syrian Antiquities

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Statistical Report: DOJ Assets Forfeiture Fund

This is a link to the Justice Department’s Annual Report to Congress on the Assets Forfeiture Fund, including expenditures and deposits, as well as Official Use and Equitable Sharing activity.  The report contains links to similar data for each of the past 10 years. New this year is a five-year summary of trends in the […]

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Transcript of the Argument on Joint and Several Liability in Honeycutt

The Supreme Court heard argument on March 29, 2017 in Honeycutt v. United States, the case in which the Court will decide whether there is statutory authority to hold criminal defendants jointly and severally liable for the forfeiture of the proceeds of their offense, regardless of how much or how little each defendant personally obtained.   The […]

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Overview of the Money Laundering Statutes

This is a 63-page lecture outline prepared by Stef Cassella covering the elements of the money laundering statutes in title 31 and title 18 of the U.S Code.  It begins with the violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, 31 U.S.C. 5311, et seq, including the CTR, CMIR and Bulk Cash Smuggling statutes, and continues with […]

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