Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Court Rejects Defendant's Attempts to Prevent Substitution of Assets in Forfeiture Proceeding

US v. Alamoudi: Alamoudi pleaded guilty to several charges stemming from a scheme to funnel money to Libya. As part of the plea agreement, Alamoudi agreed to forfeit $910,000 derived from the scheme, including $340,000 already seized by authorities in the UK. A consent order was entered by the district court reflecting that agreement. 18 months after entry of the consent order, the Government moved to seize substitute assets to cover the $570,000 remaining to be forfeited because the Government could not locate any other assets of Alamoudi's. The district court granted the motion.

The Fourth Circuit upheld the district court's decision, rejected three arguments by Alamoudi that the substitution was improper. First, the court rejected the argument that the plea agreement constituted a waiver of the Government's right to seek substitution of assets for forfeiture. Second, the court held that Booker does not apply to forfeiture proceedings (joining the rest of the Circuits to decide the issue) and therefore Alamoudi's Sixth Amendment rights were not violated by the entry of the district court's orders. Finally, the court concluded that the Government had met the prerequisites necessary to seek forfeiture of substitute assets.

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