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Criminal Forfeiture in Federal Cases - An Overview

November 26, 2010, by The McKellar Law Firm, PLLC

Criminal forfeiture of a defendant's assets is another punitive tool that the Government can employ which causes enormous financial damage to the accused. In federal criminal cases, the court procedure for forfeiture is primarily set forth in Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32.2 , 18 U.S.C. § 982, and 21 U.S.C. § 853.

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Below is a list of federal crimes that provide for criminal forfeiture:

1. Chemical Weapons (18 U.S.C. § 229B, 22 U.S.C. § 6744)
2. Controlled Substances (21 U.S.C. §§ 853, 970)
3. Espionage and Censorship (18 U.S.C. §§ 793, 794, 798)
4. Food-stamp Program Violation (7 U.S.C. § 2024)
5. Fraud - Access Devices (18 U.S.C. § 1029)
6. Fraud - Aircraft or Space Vehicle Parts (18 U.S.C. § 38)
7. Fraud - Computer Fraud & Electronic Mail (18 U.S.C. § 1030, 1037)
8. Fraud - Identification Documents (18 U.S.C. § 1028)
9. Internal Security (50 U.S.C. § 783)
10. Monetary Instruments (31 U.S.C. § 5317)
11. Obscenity (18 U.S.C. § 1467)
12. RICO - Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (18 U.S.C. § 1963)
13. Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children (18 U.S.C. § 2253)
14. Special Supplemental Nutrition Program (42 U.S.C. § 1786)
15. Stolen Property (18 U.S.C. § 2323)
16. Trade Secrets (18 U.S.C. § 1834)
17. Violation of Act of Congress (28 U.S.C. § 2461)

Criminal forfeiture procedure can often be complex and filled with pitfalls along the way. Make sure to obtain an experienced criminal forfeiture attorney before navigating the land mines of forfeiture law.