«gka, P.C. Certified Public Accountants | Management Consultants Treasury Forfeiture Fund ACCOUNTABILITY REPORT Fiscal Year 2010 DEPARTMENT OF THE ...»
gka, P.C. Certified Public Accountants | Management Consultants
Treasury Forfeiture Fund
Fiscal Year 2010
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
Member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
1015 18th Street, NW · Suite 200 · Washington, DC 20036 · Phone: 202-857-1777 · Fax: 202-857-1778 · WWW.gkacpa.com Message from the Director I am pleased to present the fiscal year (FY) 2010 Accountability Report for the Treasury Forfeiture Fund (the Fund). While highlighting the Fund’s financial and operational performance over the past year, this report also focuses on some of the significant investigative achievements of our participating law enforcement agencies this year. FY 2010 was our most successful revenue year yet for the law enforcement bureaus participating in the Treasury Forfeiture Fund, with earned revenue of over $1.1 billion from all sources as compared to $527 million in FY 2009, more than doubling that banner year.
The continued high-impact performance of the Fund reflects the ongoing hard work of our law enforcement bureaus as well as Fund management’s emphasis on major case initiatives, asset forfeiture program training and a focused approach regarding our performance measure which gauges revenue from high-impact cases.
The mission of the Fund is to affirmatively influence the consistent and strategic use of asset forfeiture by our law enforcement bureaus to disrupt and dismantle criminal enterprise. It is our view that the greatest damage to criminal enterprise can be achieved through large forfeitures, hence we have set a target level of 75 percent of our forfeitures to be high-impact, i.e., cash forfeitures equal to or greater than $100,000. For FY 2010, our member bureaus exceeded the target with a performance level of 93.11 percent high-impact cash forfeitures.
Contributing significantly to this year’s outstanding performance by our member bureaus was the large forfeiture from the ABN AMRO major case investigated by IRS-CI that resulted in a forfeiture deposit of $500 million during FY 2010. The Fund’s performance excluding this single large case deposit remains outstanding at 85.36%.
During FY 2010, the Treasury Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture (TEOAF) launched a new seminar series entitled “Investigative and Forfeiture Issues Involving the Southwest Border.” The first seminar, held in February 2010, covered a broad range of issues including bulk currency/post interdiction financial investigations, human smuggling/trafficking, task forces operating on the Southwest Border, law enforcement activities in Central and South America, and international coordination, and Black Market Peso Exchange (BMPE) trade based money laundering. There were a number of case studies illustrating law enforcement efforts and best practices.
Additionally, in FY 2010, TEOAF continued offering its training curriculum in Procedural Issues of the Asset Forfeiture Program. This curriculum covers procedures and problem areas related to Remissions and Refunds, Equitable Sharing, the Joint Operations Program, and the National General Property Contract. The importance of these procedural issues is further increasing with the growth of revenue coming to the Treasury Forfeiture Fund and subsequent growth of related programs, such as Equitable Sharing and Joint Operations.
Also, TEOAF partnered with IRS-CI to conduct a “two year reunion” conference for the members of IRS-led Pilot Title 31 Task Forces, launched in the spring 2008 and funded by the Treasury Forfeiture Fund. The purpose of this conference was to facilitate the exchange of experiences and best practices among the Pilot Task Forces, as well as to address broader investigative issues encountered by the Pilot task forces, such as those related to Money Services Businesses.
The Treasury Forfeiture Fund continues in its capacity as a successful multi-Departmental Fund representing the interests of law enforcement components of the Departments of Treasury and Homeland Security.
Member bureaus include the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), the U.S. Secret Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The U.S.
Coast Guard continues its close working relationship with the legacy Customs bureaus. We look forward to another successful year in FY 2011.
Section I: Overview Profile of the Treasury Forfeiture Fund
Strategic Mission and Vision
Program and Fund Highlights
Financial Statement Highlights
Section II: Independent Auditor’s Reports
Independent Auditor’s Report on Financial Statements
Independent Auditor’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting
Independent Auditor’s Report on Compliance with Laws and Regulations
Section III: Financial Statements and Notes
Statements of Net Cost
Statements of Changes in Net Position
Statements of Budgetary Resources
Notes to Financial Statements
Required Supplemental Information
Other Accompanying Information
Treasury Forfeiture Fund FY 2010 Management Overview Profile of the Treasury Forfeiture Fund The Treasury Forfeiture Fund (the Fund) is the receipt account for the deposit of non-tax forfeitures made pursuant to laws enforced or administered by law enforcement bureaus that participate in the Treasury Forfeiture Fund. The Fund was established in October of 1992 as the successor to the Forfeiture Fund of the United States Customs Service. The Fund is a “special receipt account.” This means the Fund can provide money to other federal entities toward the accomplishment of a specific objective for which the recipient bureaus are authorized to spend money and toward other authorized expenses. The use of Fund resources is governed by law, policy and precedent as interpreted and implemented by the Department of the Treasury which manages the Fund. A key objective for management is the long-term viability of the Fund to ensure that there are ongoing resources to support member-bureau seizure and forfeiture activities well into the future. The emphasis of Fund management is on high impact cases that can do the most damage to criminal infrastructure.
The Treasury Forfeiture Fund continues in its capacity as a multi-Departmental Fund, representing the interests of law enforcement components of the Departments of Treasury and Homeland Security. Our member bureaus include the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation (IRSCI), the U.S. Secret Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The U.S. Coast Guard continues its close working relationship with the legacy Customs bureaus and functions in a member-bureau capacity.
The Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture (EOAF), which provides management oversight of the Fund, falls under the auspices of the Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
EOAF’s organizational structure includes the Fund Director, Legal Counsel, Assistant Director for Financial Management and Assistant Director for Policy. Functional responsibilities are delegated to various team leaders. EOAF is located in Washington, D.C., and currently has 24 full time equivalent positions.
Strategic Mission The mission of the Treasury Forfeiture Fund is to affirmatively influence the consistent and strategic use of asset forfeiture by law enforcement bureaus that participate in the Treasury Forfeiture Fund to disrupt and dismantle criminal enterprises.
Strategic Vision Fund management works to focus the asset forfeiture program on strategic cases and investigations that result in high-impact forfeitures. Management believes this approach incurs the greatest damage to criminal organizations while accomplishing the ultimate objective – to disrupt and dismantle criminal enterprises.
SECTION I - OVERVIEWCase Highlights
The following case highlights are intended to give the reader an idea of the types of investigative cases worked by the Fund’s law enforcement bureaus during FY 2010 that resulted in the seizure and forfeiture of assets. Such cases as those profiled below are consistent with the Strategic Mission and Vision of the Treasury Forfeiture Program, which is to use high-impact asset forfeiture in investigative cases to disrupt and dismantle criminal enterprises.
Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Department of the Treasury MetLife Forfeits $13.5 Million; Deferred Prosecution Agreement re Improper Payments
Information included in the following forfeiture article is attributed to:
Department of Justice Press Release: “MetLife Enters Agreement to Resolve Investigation and Pay $13,500,000 in Connection with Improper Payments Made to San Diego Insurance Broker,” dated April 15, 2010.
In April 2010, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (“MetLife”) agreed to pay $13.5 million to the Federal Government based upon its role in making improper payments to a San Diego-based insurance broker. These payments were not disclosed to MetLife’s customers or reported by MetLife as required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). According to the Non-Prosecution Agreement entered into by the company, MetLife knowingly implemented a program of undisclosed and unreported payments designed to induce the San Diego-based insurance brokerage firm and its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to recommend MetLife to the brokerage firm’s clients. MetLife’s sales force was also instructed to leverage the improper payments to promote MetLife products.
ERISA requires the administrators of qualified insurance plans to provide certain specified information, including all commissions and fees paid to insurance brokers in connection with the purchase of group insurance, to the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. MetLife made these payments without disclosing them to the insurance plan administrator. These improper payments were typically denoted by MetLife as communications fees, request for proposal fees or enrollment fees. These hidden fees were, in turn, generally included in the rates charged by MetLife to their insured.
“Insurance commission and fee disclosures are designed to promote and ensure transparency.
Any effort by an insurance company to conceal the payment of improper fees or commissions will not be tolerated.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of California agreed to a negotiated settlement of this matter based, in part, on MetLife’s disclosure, cooperation and remedial actions. The Agreement calls for MetLife’s continuing cooperation on any investigations arising out of the conduct described in the Agreement.
2 TREASURY FORFEITURE FUND ACCOUNTABILITY REPORT – FISCAL YEAR 2010BetOnSports Officials Forfeit $50 Million re Felony Racketeering Conspiracy
Information included in the following forfeiture article is attributed to:
United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division, Final Order of Forfeiture, Case No. S5CR00337 CEJ (MLM), November 2, 2009; Article by Matt Richtel, “BetOnSports, After Indictment, Folds Its Hand and Decides to Move to Asia,” published in SBRForum, August 11, 2006; the Article, “BetonSports Founder Nabbed in Dominican Republic,” published by www.winneronline.com, identifying source as the St. Louis Business Journal, March 30, 2007; an Article by Melissa McNamara, “11 Charged in Web Gambling Crackdown,” published in www.cbsnews.com, July 18, 2006; an Article by Robert Patrick, “Three BetOnSports workers plead guilty,” published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 23, 2009; and the Gambling911.com, article, “The Rise and Fall of BetOnSports,” dated August 13, 2007 (picture embedded in the article.) In July 2006, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri unsealed a 22-count indictment against BetOnSports and several executives, accusing them of running an illegal Internet gambling operation. The indicted BetOnSports officials were charged with a variety of violations including charges of racketeering, conspiracy and fraud. According to the indictment, BetOnSports.com, incorporated in the United Kingdom, listed on the London Stock Exchange, and based in Costa Rica, misleadingly advertised itself as the “World’s Largest Legal and Licensed Sportsbook.”
Figure 1 BetonSports offices at San Pedro Mall
Gary Kaplan (“Kaplan”), founder of BetOnSports, was charged with 20 felony violations of federal laws including: the Wire Act, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Conspiracy, interstate transportation of gambling paraphernalia, interference with the administration of Internal Revenue laws and tax evasion. Kaplan was arrested in the Dominican Republic in March 2007.
Kaplan was a former New York area bookie, arrested on gambling charges in New York in 1993.
In June 2009, two siblings and a former personal assistant of Gary Kaplan’s pleaded guilty to federal charges and agreed to forfeit millions in illicit profits stemming from charges of helping to run an illegal gambling operation once considered among the world’s largest, handling more than $1 billion
SECTION I - OVERVIEWin bets a year. Final Orders of Forfeiture were entered against the two siblings in June 2009, resulting in the forfeiture of nearly $6.8 million to the U.S. Government.
In December 2009, a Final Order of Forfeiture against Gary Stephen Kaplan was signed in the Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division, which ordered the forfeiture of approximately $43.6 million in U.S. currency.
The U.S. Government had cooperation from Switzerland and others in the repatriation of forfeited monies related to this case to the United States. Once equitable sharing payments are made to those entitled to a share of the forfeited proceeds, the Treasury Forfeiture Fund will net about $13 million from this matter.