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Press Release

United States Attorney’s Office Files Lawsuit to Seize Life Insurance Payments of San Bernardino Shooter

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California

LOS ANGELES – Federal prosecutors today filed a civil asset forfeiture lawsuit and an application that, if approved, would allow the seizure of the proceeds of two life insurance policies worth a total of $275,000 held by San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, announced U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker and Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin.

Before the December 2, 2015, terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center, Farook obtained two insurance policies through his employment with San Bernardino County – one for $25,000 in 2012, and another for $250,000 in 2013. This afternoon, the United States Attorney’s Office filed the asset forfeiture lawsuit against the proceeds of the life insurance policies, as well as a request to seize the policies. The “application for arrest in rem” must be approved by a federal judge before the money can be seized by the government.

Under federal law, any assets derived from a crime of terrorism against the United States, its citizens or residents, or their property, are subject to forfeiture by the government.

“Terrorists must not be permitted to provide for their designated beneficiaries through their crimes,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “My office intends to explore every legal option available to us to ensure these funds are made available to the victims of this horrific crime. We will continue to use every tool available to seek justice on behalf of the victims of the San Bernardino terrorist attacks.”

            The continuing investigation into the San Bernardino terrorist attacks is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes partners with the San Bernardino Police Department, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the Ontario Police Department, the Riverside Police Department, the Corona Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.

Updated June 1, 2016

Press Release Number: 16-122