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Asset Forfeiture

"Asset Forfeiture" refers to the process of confiscating money and property that represent either proceeds of crimes or property used in the commission of crimes. The U.S. Attorney’s Office treats asset forfeiture as a priority because forfeiture is an important deterrent to criminal conduct and facilitates restitution in criminal cases that involve victims who have suffered losses.

The Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section has special expertise in resolving the complex legal issues that arise in asset forfeiture and money laundering cases. The Section supports the Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Criminal Division who prosecute money laundering cases, and/or are seeking the forfeiture of criminal proceeds and other property as part of the sentence in a criminal case. The attorneys and paralegals in the Section also handle their own case load of criminal and civil forfeiture cases. Civil forfeiture may be pursued when property is subject to forfeiture apart from a federal criminal case.

The Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section is headed by AUSA Stefan D. Cassella, who has 30 years of experience as a state and federal prosecutor, specializing in money laundering and asset forfeiture cases. He is the author of a treatise entitled Asset Forfeiture Law in the United States, and numerous law review articles about both forfeiture and money laundering.

The Section includes AUSA Richard Kay, who has handled forfeiture cases in the District of Maryland for 20 years, AUSA Evan Shea, who heads the Financial Crimes Task Force, and contract attorney John Chung.

The Section is supported by two experienced paralegals and by a Deputy U.S. Marshal who is assigned full-time to handle financial investigations and property management issues that arise in forfeiture cases.

Updated January 27, 2015