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9-119.000
ASSET FORFEITURE APPROVAL, CONSULTATION, AND NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

9-119.010 General Approval, Consultation, and Notification Requirements
9-119.100 Administrative Forfeiture 60-Day Notice Waiver - Approval/Consultation/Notification Requirements
9-119.102 Adoption Policy —Approval/Consultation/Notification Requirements
9-119.111 Forfeiture Appeals—Approval/Consultation /Notification Requirements
9-119.119 Restraining Orders Pre-Indictment—Approval/Consultation/Notification Requirements
9-119.300 Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act Cases
9-119.400 Money Laundering Prosecutions and Forfeitures
9-119.500 FIRREA Memorandum of Understanding
9-119.600 Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Money Laundering Investigations
9-119.700 Remission (or Mitigation) and Restoration of Forfeited Properties

9-119.010

General Approval, Consultation, and Notification Requirements

TopicRequirementReference
Administrative Forfeiture Headquarters of seizing agency must be consulted where a civil or criminal forfeiture agreement requires an administrative forfeitureAsset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 3
USAM 9-113.103
Attorney's FeesAssistant Attorney General must give approval to enter into a formal or informal, written or oral agreement, to exempt from forfeiture an asset transferred to an attorney as fees for legal servicesAsset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 8
USAM 9-120.116
Attorney's FeesAssistant Attorney General's approval is required for any action to institute a criminal or civil forfeiture proceeding against an asset transferred to an attorney as a fee for legal servicesAsset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 8
USAM 9-120.112
Attorneys—Notice Letters to AttorneysIt is permissible to provide written notice to an attorney of the government's intent to seek forfeiture of an asset when it has been concluded that an attorney has actual knowledge that the asset is subject to forfeiture based on facts and information other than that contained in a written notice. However, where the criminal case giving rise to the forfeiture has not been concluded, such notice should be given only in extraordinary cases and may not be given without the approval of the AAGAsset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 8
USAM 9-120.111
Business EntitiesUSAO must consult with AFMLS prior to filing indictment, information, or complaint in any forfeiture action against, seeking the seizure of, or moving to restrain an ongoing businessAsset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 1
USAM 9-111.124
Business EntitiesIn any case where forfeiture of a business is sought under the theory that the business facilitated the money laundering offenses, no forfeiture action, either criminal or civil, may be filed without prior consultation with AFMLS Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 1
USAM 9-105.330
Business Entities USAO must notify AFMLS when it learns (or USMS learns) that a restrained or seized business is losing money, has insufficient equity, or will be sold at a lossAsset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chaps. 1 and 11
Correspondent AccountsAFMLS must give approval before serving a restraining order, seizure warrant, or warrant of arrest on a correspondent bank account under 18 U.S.C. § 981(k) (chief of AFMLS will get concurrence from director of OIA)Memorandum from AAG Chertoff
USA Patriot Act, Section 319, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 981(k)
Correspondent AccountsOIA must give written approval before USAO may issue summonses or subpoenas to foreign banks that maintain accounts with correspondent banks in the United States to obtain recordsMemorandum from AAG Chertoff
AG order delegating authority to AAG
USA Patriot Act, Section 319, codified at 31 U.S.C. § 5318(k)
USAM 9-13.525
Deposit of Seized Cash AFMLS must give approval for exceptions to the policy requiring prompt deposit of any seized cash into the Seized Asset Deposit Fund (delegated by AAG) unless the seized cash is less then $5,000Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 1
USAM 9-111.600
EAJA AwardsAFMLS must give approval to use funds to pay EAJA awards arising from forfeiture actionsAsset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 8
USAM 9-117.210
Equitable Sharing/Official UseDeputy Attorney General must approve equitable sharing in cases involving (1) $1 million or more in forfeited assets, (2) multi-district cases, or (3) cases involving real property transfers to a state or local agency for law enforcement related useAsset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 6
USAM 116.210
USAM 118.540
Equitable Sharing/Official Use Attorney General and Secretary of State approval required before forfeited assets can be shared internationallyAsset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 6
USAM 9-116.400
Equitable Sharing/Official Use USAO must consult with AFMLS or with seizing agency during 12-month holding period to release hold on property and allow petition for remission process to proceed (and equitable sharing, etc.) Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 4
Equitable Sharing/Official UseNotification must be provided to AFMLS of all equitable sharing agreements approved by the USAO under $1 million from judicial forfeitures Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 6
USAM 9-116.210
Equitable Sharing/Official UseAFMLS should be notified if seizing agency decides to place property into agency's official use and the property is valued at $50,000 or more Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 5
USAM 9-118.440
Foreign PropertyAFMLS (which will consult with OIA) must be consulted before taking steps to present a foreign government for enforcement or recognition of any civil or criminal forfeiture order entered in the United States for property located within the foreign jurisdiction Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 6
USAM 9-13.526
Liens/MortgagesAFMLS must approve any requests for payment of liens and mortgages in excess of sale proceedsAsset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 5
Expedited Forfeiture Settlement Policy I(B) does not require approval, only encourages consultation with AFMLS
USAM 9-113.800
Plea Agreements
or
Settlements
USMS and the seizing agency must be consulted during negotiation of settlementsAsset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 3
USAM 9-113.103
Plea Agreements
or
Settlements
U.S. Attorney may approve any settlement in a criminal or civil forfeiture claim if the amount involved is less than $500,000 or if the amount to be released does not exceed 15 percent of the amount involved and the amount involved is less than $5 million Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 3
USAM 9-113.200
Plea Agreements
or
Settlements
Chief of AFMLS has authority to approve any forfeiture settlement where:

(1) the amount involved exceeds $500,000 but does not exceed $5 million, and the amount to be released exceeds 15 percent of the amount involved, unless the amount to be released is more than $2 million; or

(2) the amount involved exceeds $5 million, unless the amount to be released exceeds 15 percent of the amount involved and is more than $2 million

Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 3
USAM 9-113.200
Plea Agreements
or
Settlements
Deputy Attorney General must approve any forfeiture settlement where the amount to be released exceeds 15 percent of the amount involved and is more than $2 millionAsset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 3
USAM 9-113.200
Plea Agreements
or
Settlements
Seizing agency must be consulted before entering into plea agreements or settlements returning property that is the subject of administrative forfeiture proceedingsAsset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 2
USAM 9-113.103
Plea Agreements
or
Settlements
AFMLS must give approval to return of property subject to administrative forfeiture as part of a plea agreement Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 2
Plea Agreements
or
Settlements
USAO must obtain advice and approval of AFMLS prior to any settlement that provides for unsecured partial payment (with the USMS)Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 3
USAM 9-113.107
Preseizure PlanningUSMS must be consulted as part of the preseizure planning process prior to seizure/restraint and forfeiture of assets Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 1
USAM 9-111.110
Preseizure PlanningUSAO must give approval prior to the release of sensitive law enforcement information to third party contractors for the purpose of preseizure planning Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 1
Real propertyUSMS must be consulted prior to adoption of seizure of real propertyAsset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 6
USAM 9-116.190
Real propertyUSMS must be consulted prior to seizure of contaminated real property Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 1
USAM 9-111.400
USAM says USAO should exercise its discretion
Real propertyThe Deputy Attorney General must approve real property transfers to state or local agencies for further transfer to other government agencies or non-profit agencies for use in the Weed and Seed Program Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 6
USAM 9-116.500
RestitutionNotification must be provided to AFMLS of the imposition of 12-month hold for entry of restitution order (or USMS or seizing agency)Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 4
Seizure ThresholdsSupervisory level approval in the USAO required for any downward departure from the seizing thresholds (in writing)Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 1
USAM 9-111.120
Trustees & MonitorsUSAO must consult with AFMLS before seeking appointment of a trustee or monitor Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual Chap. 11
USAM 9-111.125
[updated October 2010]

9-119.100

Administrative Forfeiture 60-Day Notice Waiver - Approval/Consultation/Notification Requirements

Section 983(a)(1) requires that written notice of an administrative forfeiture action be sent to interested parties as soon as practicable but no later than 60 days after the date of the seizure. For interested parties determined after seizure, the written notice shall occur within 60 days after reasonably determining ownership or interest. See section 983(a)(1)(A)(v). Waivers of this notice deadline may be obtained in writing in exceptional circumstances from a designated official within the seizing agency. See section 983(a)(1)(B). The exceptional circumstances are those set forth in section 983(a)(1)(D). See Chapter 2 of the Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual and USAM 9-112.210.

[updated May 2010]

9-119.102

Adoption Policy —Approval/Consultation/Notification Requirements

If a Federal agency declines to adopt a seizure but has no objection to the direct adoption of the seizure by the U.S. Attorney for judicial forfeiture under federal law, the U.S. Attorney may adopt the seizure and pursue the forfeiture civilly or criminally. On the other hand, if the federal agency declines to adopt the seizure and believes that it should not be adopted for federal forfeiture and the U.S. Attorney disagrees, the U.S. Attorney may refer the matter to AFMLS. After consulting with the headquarters office of the seizing agency, AFMLS may authorize direct adoption of the seizure or category of seizures by the U.S. Attorney where a compelling law enforcement purpose justifies such action. See Chapter 1 of the Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual and USAM 9-116.170.

[updated May 2010]

9-119.111

Forfeiture Appeals—Approval/Consultation/Notification Requirements

Adverse decision memos in any forfeiture shall be sent to the Appellate Section, Criminal Division, with a copy to the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section (AFMLS).

[updated May 2010]

9-119.119

Restraining Orders Pre-Indictment—Approval/Consultation/Notification Requirements

The Organized Crime and Gang Section exercises authority to review pre-indictment ex parte applications for restraining orders and to seek the views of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section. See USAM 9-112.240.

[updated May 2011]

9-119.300

Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act Cases

Some forfeiture policies and procedures contained in this section (USAM Chapter 9-119.000) and other parts of title 9 do not apply to civil forfeiture cases brought pursuant to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. § 334. For information concerning the policies and procedures applicable to such cases, the Office of Consumer Litigation in the Civil Division should be contacted. See Criminal Resource Manual 87. However, the forfeiture policies and procedures contained in this section (USAM Chapter 9-119.000) and other parts of title 9 do apply to forfeiture cases under other statutes, even if the civil and criminal forfeiture investigations were conducted by Special Agents under 21 U.S.C. § 334.

[updated May 2010]

9-119.400

Money Laundering Prosecutions and

See USAM Chapter 9-105.000 for a discussion of the Department's policy concerning money laundering prosecutions and forfeitures.

9-119.500

FIRREA Memorandum of Understanding

See Criminal Resource Manual 2319 to 2320.

[updated May 2010]

9-119.600

Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Money Investigations

See Criminal Resource Manual 2186.

9-119.700

Remission (or Mitigation) and Restoration of Forfeited Properties

See USAM Chapter 9-121.000.

[new May 2010]