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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

February 9, 2017
Press Release
Owner of Schools that Illegally Allowed Foreign Nationals to Remain in U.S. as Foreign ‘Students’ Pleads Guilty to Federal Fraud Charges

January 19, 2017
Press Release
Western Union Admits Anti-Money Laundering and Consumer Fraud Violations, Will Forfeit $586 Million in Settlement with Justice and FTC

January 10, 2017
Press Release
Former Wife of Fugitive Chinese Official Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Commit Immigration Fraud Related to EB-5 Investor Visa

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

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 February 15, 2017