U.S. Attorney Parker honors citizen & law enforcement efforts to reduce crime, build stronger communities in second annual awards ceremony
CINCINNATI – U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman announced today the creation of a District forfeiture unit tasked with ensuring the District is as successful as possible at seizing ill-gotten gains.
The Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program encompasses the seizure and forfeiture of assets that represent the proceeds of, or were used to facilitate certain federal crimes, or that were involved in money laundering. The primary mission of the program is to employ the federal asset forfeiture laws in a manner that enhances public safety and security and promotes justice. This is accomplished by removing the proceeds of crime and other assets relied upon by criminals and their associates to perpetuate their criminal activity against our society. Asset forfeiture has the power to disrupt or dismantle criminal organizations that would continue to function if we only convicted and incarcerated specific individuals. United States Attorneys’ Offices are responsible for the prosecution of both criminal and civil actions against property used or acquired during illegal activity.
“Forfeiture is a set of legal tools, both civil and criminal, that we use to ensure that crime doesn’t pay,” U.S. Attorney Glassman said.
For example, in fiscal year 2016, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio forfeited assets valued in excess of $9 million.
In addition to allowing for the forfeiture of criminal proceeds, property that facilitates crime and property involved in money laundering, the law also requires defendants to pay restitution to victims of certain federal crimes who have suffered a physical injury or financial loss. Ensuring that assets are available to compensate crime victims is a priority of the Asset Forfeiture Program.
Case examples in the Southern District of Ohio that involve significant forfeitures sought include:
U.S. v. Glen Galemmo, an investment-fraud case in which the government forfeited more than $6 million, three homes and five vehicles;
U.S. v. William Apostelos, a $70-million Ponzi-scheme case in which the government has seized and is seeking forfeiture of cash totaling $650,000, two race horses, jewelry and artwork; and
U.S. v. Kevin Lake, a pill-mill case in which the government has seized and is seeking forfeiture of more than $29 million in proceeds from a Central Ohio medical center.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Deborah Grimes and Pamela Stanek will oversee the forfeiture efforts of the District.
“Both Assistant U.S. Attorneys Grimes and Stanek have the expertise in this increasingly complicated body of law that – if you want to get the most out of it – requires sustained attention at multiple stages of investigations and cases,” Glassman said. “Both women have taught federal prosecutors from across the country on this topic and have served on national working groups, in addition to lending their knowledge to other federal agencies. Having them officially lead our forfeiture work will promote better restitution for victims and less profit for criminals.”
# # #