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NCJ Number: 200688 Find in a Library
Title: Provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act Relating to Asset Forfeiture in Transnational Cases
Journal: Journal of Financial Crime  Volume:10  Issue:4  Dated:April 2003  Pages:303-307
Author(s): Stefan D. Cassella
Date Published: April 2003
Page Count: 5
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: After reviewing the vocabulary of asset forfeiture law in the United States, this article focuses on the provisions of both the Patriot Act and the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 (CAFRA) that bear directly on transnational cases and the recovery of assets from criminals and terrorists.
Abstract: Federal law authorizes both civil and criminal forfeiture of property connected to the commission of a crime. Both methods of forfeiture are used to recover property involved in crimes that cross international borders, and each has its advantages and disadvantages for law enforcement. There are problems in applying both the civil and criminal forfeiture laws, however, in cases in which the crime, the defendant, or the property crosses an international border. CAFRA and the Patriot Act have legislatively addressed many of these problems. One problem involves the defendant being a fugitive while his/her criminal proceeds are in the United States. CAFRA contains what is called the "fugitive disentitlement doctrine," which states that a person who is charged in a criminal case can oppose the civil forfeiture of his/her property only if he/she surrenders to face the criminal charges. Another problematic situation arises when the criminal proceeds are in the United States but the crime was committed abroad. Under the Patriot Act, a civil action can now be brought to forfeit the proceeds of public corruption offenses, crimes of violence, bank fraud, and other serious offenses that are committed abroad in violation of foreign law, if the property is found in the United States. In another scenario, the criminal may be residing in the United States, but the property is abroad. One solution under the Patriot Act is to allow the court to order the defendant (over whom it does have jurisdiction) to repatriate his/her property to the United States. In another case, the crime may have been committed in the United States, but both the offender and the property are abroad. To address such a situation, the Patriot Act allows the United States to bring a civil forfeiture action against funds in a foreign bank that have been derived from a crime that occurred in the United States. In another type of case, the United State may need the assistance of a foreign government to restrain property and obtain bank records. The Patriot Act states that any entity that banks in the United States is required to comply with subpoenas for bank records, even if the records are located abroad. Further, the Patriot Act authorizes the civil forfeiture of all assets, foreign or domestic, of any person, entity, or organization that is engaged in planning or perpetrating acts of terrorism against the United States or its citizens and residents. This new statute is not limited to the property derived from or used to commit the terrorism offense. 13 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Counter-terrorism tactics; Forfeiture; Forfeiture law; Transnational Crime; Transnational Organized Crime; United States of America; US Patriot Act
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