A client retained us as part of an Attorney General (AG) grand jury indictment for extremely serious felony drug distribution and organized crime charges. We quickly convinced the AG to dismiss all criminal charges against the client. However, the United States Department of Justice moved forward with a civil forfeiture of the client’s financial assets that were seized as part of the original criminal investigation. The forfeiture was based upon a different theory and a lower burden of proof, both of which presented unique challenges.
Given our experience as former prosecutors, we knew that the Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) assigned to the case had limited time to review documentation we wished to submit for review. To get the AUSA to pay sufficient attention to the proposal, we needed to detail the client’s assets, where they originated, the source of those assets, any transfers of those assets, and the knowledge of those funds as understood by our client. We created an extremely user-friendly document that allowed the AUSA to quickly review the exhibits we believed were relevant to resolving the case with the click of a mouse. The document itself was lengthy and detailed but, as a result of our approach and creative use of technology, the message was straightforward and understandable.
This approach created a rapport with the AUSA, and we had multiple follow-up meetings with her about this case. Ultimately, we were able to convince the AUSA to a settlement that included the release of funds to our client in excess of what was originally seized.