Federal Asset Forfeiture and Recovery of Seized Property
Protect Your Assets with Our Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers in Baltimore
Nathans & Biddle LLP has a preeminent forfeiture practice headed by Robert Biddle, a nationally recognized professional in the field. Former Co-Chair of the ABA White Collar Crime Committee's Forfeiture Subcommittee, Mr. Biddle has lectured nationally and trained numerous groups of attorneys regarding forfeiture practice and procedure.
Our firm has successfully aided a wide range of clientele to retain property that is rightfully theirs, including:
- Private individuals
- Automobile leasing companies
- Home health care agencies
Some of Our Successful Recoveries
In two of the largest federal forfeiture recoveries in Maryland history, Mr. Biddle recovered more than $6 million from the federal government on behalf of a local suburban Washington business, and more than $10 million on behalf of a foreign corporation. He also recently recovered more than $750,000 in funds paid in a divorce settlement where the assets were originally seized from the recipient's account as the proceeds of fraud allegedly perpetrated by the party making the divorce settlement payment.
If a federal forfeiture has been initiated against you or your company, call (410) 783-0272 today to schedule a confidential consultation with Baltimore federal criminal defense lawyer Robert Biddle.
Federal Forfeiture Proceedings
Below, we have provided a brief description of potential forfeiture proceedings that may assist clients in identifying when to seek legal counsel.
Under federal criminal law, asset forfeiture functions as a tax or penalty upon persons whose property becomes involved with alleged criminal activity. The government is legally entitled to seize such property under a mere suspicion of a connection to misconduct. Qualified counsel can assist by significantly improving the probability of recovering some or all of the value of the property seized.
There are numerous narcotics and non-narcotics federal criminal violations that permit asset forfeiture. Narcotics and money laundering charges are the most common bases to seize and forfeit assets. However, there are other statutes that permit forfeiture. Mail and wire fraud that affects a financial institution, various environmental/hazardous waste violations, certain motor vehicle violations such as altering or removing a vehicle identification number, motor fuel excise tax violations, and many others are all federal predicates for civil and criminal forfeiture proceedings.
Criminal Forfeiture Proceedings
Forfeiture is sought as part of a criminal proceeding against a particular person. Thus, unlike a federal civil forfeiture action, the criminal forfeiture proceeding is directly connected to a pending criminal prosecution. Under civil or criminal law, a claimant must prove that either he or she is an "innocent owner" or that the property was not involved in criminal activity. Generally, a claimant holding a financial interest in the property sought to be seized must show that he or she did not know of any criminal activity relating to the property or that if the claimant had such knowledge, that he or she took all reasonable steps to stop such illegal activity.
Contact Nathans & Biddle LLP for Asset Protection Services
If the government is considering forfeiture of any of your property, sound legal advice is important to protecting your rights. For more information regarding forfeitures and how we can help you, contact Attorney Robert Biddle today.