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The Federal Criminal Forfeiture Statute: Reining in The Government’s Previously Unbridled Ability to Seize Pretrial Assets

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Published On: June 22, 2018

Abstract

     American organized crime movies are synonymous with a climatic raid and seizure of illegal assets – typically drugs and guns. But what is really encompassed within the Government’s grasp; what are the “illegal assets”? The truth is that the Government has a wide reach and the criminal seizures don’t end when the screen goes black and the credits roll. The Federal Criminal Forfeiture Statute, as applied to RICO and CCE cases, typically entails the forfeiture of any asset connected to the underlying crimes. Given that criminal forfeiture penalties have ethical and constitutional considerations, it is not surprising to learn that a recent United States Supreme Court decision has scaled back the Government’s power over its ability to seize. This Note will provide an overview of the Federal Criminal Forfeiture Statute, as well as RICO and CCE in order to provide context, will detail the case law history of the statute in application, will examine the ethical and constitutional considerations, and will question the future of the controversially applied law.

 

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Orginally Published in Pace Law Review

Kristyn Fleming Francese, The Federal Criminal Forfeiture Statute: Reining in The Government’s Previously Unbridled Ability to Seize Pretrial Assets, 38 Pace L. Rev. 634 (2018)
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol38/iss2/10