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Asset Forfeiture Section

Section Overview

The Asset Forfeiture Section prosecutes civil and criminal asset forfeiture matters arising from a wide range of federal offenses. While a majority of the cases in the section involve narcotics and money laundering violations, the section also handles significant cases in such diverse areas as bank and health care fraud, smuggling, gambling and child exploitation.

Section Leadership

Steve Welk

Steve Welk is the Chief of the Asset Forfeiture Section. AUSA Welk has been prosecuting civil and criminal asset forfeiture cases for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California since 1995, and has been Chief of the Asset Forfeiture Section since 2001. AUSA Welk provides training to prosecutors and members of law enforcement throughout the country on federal forfeiture and money laundering issues. In 2011, he received the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award for his work on the RICO prosecution of more than 80 members of the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Southern California and his J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law.

Recent Cases

October 7, 2016
Press Release
Prosecutors Secure Guilty Pleas and File Asset Forfeiture Actions in International Money Laundering and Identity Theft Scheme involving Fraudulent Tax Returns that Sought $38 Million in Refunds

August 31, 2016
Press Release
Former Operator of Gardena Casino Pays $1 Million Fine and Forfeits nearly $1.4 Million for Violating Federal Anti-Money Laundering Laws

July 20, 2016
Press Release
United States Seeks to Recover more than $1 Billion Obtained from Corruption involving Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund

March 21, 2016
Press Release
L.A.-Area Man Sentenced to over 8 Years in Federal Prison for Two Fraud Schemes, including One that Cost Verizon Wireless $17 Million

January 22, 2016
Press Release
Normandie Casino Operator Agrees to Plead Guilty to Federal Felony Charges of Violating Anti-Money Laundering Statutes

Section Contact Information

The United States Attorney's Office
Central District of California
Criminal Division
Attn: Asset Forfeiture Section
312 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90012



Updated October 11, 2016