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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Attorney General Sessions Announces Director of Asset Forfeiture Accountability

Attorney General Sessions issued a memorandum to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein this week, directing him to hire a Director of Asset Forfeiture Accountability (“Director”). The Director will review and coordinate all aspects of the Department’s Asset Forfeiture Program, and work with appropriate Department of Justice components to ensure compliance, review complaints, and advance the integrity, efficiency, and effectiveness of the program.

About the memorandum, Attorney General Sessions made the following statement:

“As our law enforcement partners will tell you and as President Trump knows well, asset forfeiture is a key tool that helps law enforcement defund organized crime, take back ill-gotten gains, and prevent new crimes from being committed, and it weakens the criminals and the cartels. Even more importantly, it helps return property to the victims of crime.

“For this to be effective, however, we must start with strong leadership at the top, in conjunction with close coordination of forfeiture activities at all levels of the Department of Justice. That’s why, today, I have directed the hiring of a Director of Asset Forfeiture Accountability within the Office of the Deputy Attorney General. 

“The Director will begin work immediately on priority initiatives and recommendations, including: modernization of the National Asset Forfeiture Strategic Plan, updating the Asset Forfeiture Program's policy guidance, and improving controls over use of program funds. I make this decision today because I believe it is important to have senior-level accountability in the Department of the day-to-day workings of the asset forfeiture program, as well as authority to coordinate with relevant components to make the necessary changes to the program to ensure it continues to operate in an accountable and responsible way."


Note: View the memorandum here

Press Release Number: 
17-1154
Updated October 17, 2017