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«gka, P.C. Certified Public Accountants | Management Consultants Treasury Forfeiture Fund ACCOUNTABILITY REPORT Fiscal Year 2010 DEPARTMENT OF THE ...»

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On July 20, 2010, the U.S. Government, the Estate and the Leopold Museum reached a settlement agreement that resolves the litigation. Under the terms of the agreement, the Leopold Museum will pay the Estate $19 million in exchange for Wally. The civil forfeiture action brought public attention to the struggle of victims of Nazi crimes to recover art and other property stolen by the Nazis.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Department of Homeland Security CBP has had a productive year for seizures of cash and drugs at the border and border regions;

the following represents a sample of their law enforcement seizures.

CBP Officers Seize $1.6 Million in Cash

Information included in the following forfeiture article is attributed to:

News Release dated October 14, 2009, “Border Patrol Agents Seize $1.6 Million in Cash” On October 9, 2009, Border Patrol Agents responded to reports of suspicious activity. During their investigation, the agents observed several subjects unloading black luggage bags from the trunk of a small sedan. When the subjects saw the Border Patrol vehicle approaching, they dropped the bags back into the trunk and fled. Agents searched the car and found several cellophane-wrapped bundles of cash in the black bags in the trunk. The bundles contained a total of $1,599,001. The cash was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.

CBP Officers in Nogales Seize $204,000 Found in Vehicle

Information included in the following forfeiture article is attributed to:

News Release dated October 27, 2009, “CBP Officers in Nogales Seize $204,000 Found in Vehicle” In late October 2009, CBP Officers and Nogales Police Officers conducting routine inspections of vehicles leaving the United States selected a 2005 Volkswagen Jetta for examination. The vehicle was occupied by two men from Sonora, Mexico. While conducting the inspection, CBP Officers discovered several packages of U.S. currency hidden in a compartment in the dash of the vehicle.

Officers removed a total of 17 packages that contained just over $204,000. The money was seized and both subjects were arrested and turned over to ICE for further investigation.

CBP Officers Seize $300,000 in Undeclared Currency at Arizona Border

Information included in the following forfeiture article is attributed to:

News Release dated December 15, 2009, “CBP Officers Seize $300,000 in Undeclared Currency at Arizona Border” In mid December 2009, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers working at the Mariposa, Arizona port of entry discovered $300,032 in undeclared currency hidden inside a suitcase. CBP Officers conducting routine inspections of vehicles leaving the United States, selected a 1994 Chevy pickup truck. The truck was occupied by two Mexican men, ages 19 and 46. While conducting their inspection, CBP officers opened a suitcase that was inside the truck and discovered 30 packages wrapped in black electrical tape. After a CBP Currency/Weapons Detector Dog alerted to the suitcase, officers removed the packages and seized $300,032 as undeclared currency.

SECTION I - OVERVIEW

CBP Officers Seize $133,412 in Undeclared Currency at Arizona Port of Entry

Information included in the following forfeiture article is attributed to:

News Release dated December 4, 2009, “CBP Officers in Arizona Seize $133,412 in Undeclared Currency” In early December 2009, CBP Officers conducting routine inspections of vehicles leaving the United States selected a 2001 Volkswagen Beetle for examination. The vehicle was occupied by a 22-yearold man from Sonora, Mexico. While conducting their inspection, CBP Officers discovered several packages of U.S. currency hidden in the rear quarter panel of the vehicle. Officers removed numerous packages of cash totaling $133,412. The cash was seized.

Figure 8 $133,412 Undeclared Currency Found in Rear Quarter Panel of Vehicle CBP Officers Seize $305,995 at the Brownsville Port of Entry

Information included in the following forfeiture article is attributed to:

News Release dated June 26, 2010, “CBP Officers, Border Patrol Agents Seize $300k in Outbound Enforcement Operation” In late June 2010, CBP and Border Patrol Officers, conducting outbound enforcement operations at the Brownsville port of entry, seized $305,995 in U.S. currency. Working outbound enforcement operations at the Gateway International Bridge, these officers came into contact with a 2000 Oldsmobile Alero, with a 21-year old Mexican national driver, as it attempted to exit the United States and enter Mexico. The vehicle was selected for further inspection. A search of the Oldsmobile resulted in the discovery of 12 packages of U.S. currency hidden within the vehicle.

CBP Officers seized the currency and the vehicle.

CBP Officers Seize $70,000 Found in Spare Tire

Information included in the following forfeiture article is attributed to:

News Release dated December 15, 2009, “CBP Southbound Operations in Douglas Recovers $70,000 Found in Tires” In mid December 2009, CBP Officers screening traffic going into Mexico as part of a Southbound Operation selected a 2008 Chevrolet Cheyenne being driven by a 28-year-old man from Magdalena,

16 TREASURY FORFEITURE FUND ACCOUNTABILITY REPORT – FISCAL YEAR 2010





Sonora, Mexico. Utilizing high-tech equipment, CBP officers discovered that the man was attempting to smuggle $70,000 out of the United States by concealing the money in the spare tire of the vehicle. The officers seized the currency.

–  –  –

U. S. Secret Service Department of Homeland Security In Rem Forfeiture of $65 Million in Funds Seized from Bank Accounts Associated with the “Ad Surf Daily (ASD)” Ponzi Scheme

Information included in the following forfeiture article is attributed to:

United States Attorney’s Office, District of Columbia, Press Release: undated, “Final Order of Forfeiture Issued in ASD Civil Forfeiture Action;” and United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Complaint for Forfeiture In Rem, Case No. 1:08-cv-01345, dated August 5, 2008.

In January 2010, approximately $65 million in funds seized from bank accounts associated with the “Ad Surf Daily (ASD)” Ponzi-style fraud case were forfeited to the U.S. Government. The government anticipates a number of victims’ claims against these forfeitures.

In July 2008, agents working as part of a Secret Service task force received information from a reliable source that ASD was a pyramid or Ponzi scheme operating via the Internet. The ensuing investigation confirmed that ASD was operating over the Internet and that the pertinent site claimed that members could earn large profits simply by paying fees to advertise web pages, surf other members’ web pages, and recruit more members to do the same.

The In Rem Civil Complaint asserted that ASD was operating a paid auto-surfing program and that program was merely a Ponzi scheme. Although ASD was careful to avoid callings its members “investors,” in an apparent effort to avoid regulatory scrutiny, ASD promoted paid membership by offering its members a 125% return on their membership fees. In addition, ASD encouraged members to recruit new members by paying commissions for referrals. ASD paid the source of a referral a percentage of each newly referred member’s fees.

SECTION I - OVERVIEW

According to the In Rem Civil Complaint, the investigation revealed that ASD did not appear to sell any independent products or services sufficient to generate an income stream needed to support the rebates and commissions that it promised its members. Further, the “advertisers” were not paying ASD for advertising services at all; instead, they were paying ASD with the expectation that ASD would provide a full rebate and additional revenue. Thus, absent continuous membership growth (an impossibility) ASD had no means to generate the returns it represented.

Public documents assert that ASD and others devised a scheme to create an Internet-based Ponzi scheme in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. §371 (conspiracy to commit wire fraud), and that the forfeited properties constitute proceeds of the offenses or property involved in financial transactions with wire fraud proceeds that are prohibited by federal anti—money laundering statutes.

In Rem Forfeiture of $14 Million in Funds Seized from Bank Accounts Associated with the “Golden Panda” Ponzi Scheme

Information included in the following forfeiture article is attributed to:

United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Motion for Entry of Default Judgment and Order of Forfeiture, Civil Action No.: 08-cv-01345 (RMC), filed June 1, 2009; and U.S. Department of Justice Jeffrey A. Taylor, United States Attorney, District of Columbia, undated re: Stpember 22, 2008 et al.

In a matter related to the Ad Surf Daily (ASD) matter, just above, in June 2009, a Motion for Entry of Default Judgment and Order of Forfeiture was entered against five (5) defendant bank accounts that were seized from Bank of America, which had been controlled by operators of the Golden Panda Ad Builder operation. Golden Panda was a spinoff Ponzi scheme of the ASD Ponzi scheme described above, targeting primarily Chinese clients. The government had alleged that the Golden Panda funds it seized and sued for In Rem forfeiture constituted proceeds of several criminal offenses, including a wire fraud scheme involving unregistered securities.

U. S. Coast GuardDepartment of Homeland Security

The U.S. Coast Guard continues its close working relationship with the legacy Customs bureaus and functions in a member-bureau capacity. The Coast Guard also maintains a close working relationship with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the Department of Justice, assisting with drug boat interceptions on the high seas which are then turned over to the Department of Justice for prosecution.

Coast Guard Inspects Boat for Safety, Seizes 17 Bricks of Marijuana

Information included in the following forfeiture article is attributed to:

United States Coast Guard Press Release: June 14, 2010, “Coast Guard crew intercepts boat with 17 bricks of marijuana” Website: http://www.piersystem.com/go/doc/586/656679/ In June 2010, crewmembers from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Dolphin intercepted nearly 300 pounds of marijuana from a vessel west of Bimini, Bahamas. While conducting a routine patrol, the crew of the Dolphin conducted a boarding of a 25-foot cuddy cabin vessels west of Bimini. During an initial safety inspection, members of the boarding team located about 300 pounds of marijuana in

18 TREASURY FORFEITURE FUND ACCOUNTABILITY REPORT – FISCAL YEAR 2010

the vessel’s forward compartment. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Dolphin is an 87-foot patrol boat home ported in Miami.

–  –  –

Coast Guard Intercepts Vessel, Seizes 800 Pounds of Marijuana

Information included in the following forfeiture article is attributed to:

United States Coast Guard Press Release: May 30, 2010, “Coast Guard seizes 800 pounds of marijuana” Website:

http://www.piersystem.com/go/doc/586/573703/ In May 2010, crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Diamondback offloaded 47 bricks of marijuana, nearly 800 pounds, at Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Following reports of a suspicious vessel traveling west from Bimini, Bahamas, a 33-foot Special Purpose Law Enforcement Craft from Station Fort Lauderdale and Diamondback crews located a 20-foot, whitehulled, U.S. flagged vessel. The U.S. Coast Guard crews boarded the vessel to conduct an initial safety inspection and made a plain view discovery of nearly 800 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated street value of over $700,000. The two suspected smugglers aboard the vessel were detained and taken aboard the Diamondback and later transferred to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Diamondback is an 87-foot coastal patrol boat home ported in Miami.

Coast Guard Boards Vessel, Seizes 5,250 Pounds of Cocaine

Information included in the following forfeiture article is attributed to:

United States Coast Guard Press Release: May 07, 2010, “Coast Guard Cutter Dallas seizes shipment of cocaine in Eastern Pacific Ocean” Website: http://www.piersystem.com/go/doc/586/541683/ In May 2010, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Dallas seized a shipment of cocaine hidden aboard an 82-foot Mexican-flagged fishing vessel while on patrol in the Eastern Pacific. The cocaine, weighing an estimated 5,250 pounds, was concealed in a hidden compartment that was built into the fishing vessel’s fuel tanks. The advanced method of concealment required a detailed search of the vessel that included shifting the vessel’s fuel load to identify the hidden compartment.

The boarding of the Mexican-flagged fishing vessel was conducted under the authority and jurisdiction of Mexico. The Mexican Navy subsequently took custody of the vessel, contraband and crew, all of whom were Mexican nationals.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Dallas is a 378-foot Hamilton Class Cutter, one of 12 high-endurance Hamilton Class Cutters in the Coast Guard fleet. The USCGC Dallas is home ported in Charleston, South Carolina.

–  –  –

The Treasury Forfeiture Fund is a “special receipt account.” Such accounts represent federal fund collections earmarked by law for a specific purpose. The enabling legislation for the Treasury Forfeiture Fund (31 U.S.C. § 9703) defines those purposes for which Treasury forfeiture revenue may be used. Once property or cash is seized, there is a forfeiture process. Upon forfeiture, seized currency, initially deposited into a suspense account, or holding account, is transferred to the Fund as forfeited revenue. Once forfeited, physical properties are sold and the proceeds are deposited into the Fund as forfeited revenue. It is this forfeiture revenue that comprises the budget authority for meeting expenses of running Treasury’s forfeiture program.



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