chapter  Chapter 3
4 Pages

Civil Forfeiture

WithKevin B. Kinnee

Civil forfeiture begn in 1970 when Congress enacted the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations and CCE statutes. In 1978, further expansion was achieved when Congress authorized civil forfeiture of any proceeds derived from narcotics trafficking in violation of federal law. Prosecutors may resort to the discovery process to obtain information pertinent to tracing. The claimant may be deposed and disclosure of his records compelled. Perjury and contempt sanctions are potentially available against untruthful or recalcitrant witnesses. While the Fifth Amendment may still be asserted, a civil claimant risks an adverse factual finding by doing so. Involving the Fifth Amendment may result in an adverse factual determination, while answering questions may have incriminating consequences in the criminal proceedings.