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United States v. Approximately 64

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


June 16, 2008

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
APPROXIMATELY 64,695 POUNDS OF SHARK FINS, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Barry Ted Moskowitz United States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING JOINT MOTION FOR (1) DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS; (2) PAYMENT OF ATTORNEY FEES AND COSTS PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §2465(b)(1); (3) CERTIFICATE OF REASONABLE CAUSE; AND (4) DISMISSAL OF CASE WITH PREJUDICE

The United States of America, by and through its counsel, Karen P. Hewitt, United States Attorney, and Mary C. Lundberg, Assistant U.S. Attorney and claimant, Tai Loong Hong Marine Products, Limited ("Claimant"), by and through its attorney, Bryan Y.Y. Ho, filed a Joint Motion for (1) Disbursement of Funds; (2) Payment of Attorney Fees and Costs Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2465(b)(1); (3) Certificate of Reasonable Cause; and (4) Dismissal of Case with Prejudice.

The Court, having duly considered the representations of counsel set forth in the Joint Motion, as well as in the Declaration of Bryan Y.Y. Ho submitted in support of the Joint Motion AND GOOD CAUSE APPEARING:

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED:

1. The Parties' Joint Motion is GRANTED.

2. The Clerk of the Court shall immediately disburse to Claimant $618,956.00 plus accrued interest, less the 10% of accrued interest the Clerk of the Court is entitled to retain pursuant to Local Rule 123-3(d). The check disbursing the funds shall be made payable to "Tai Loong Hong Marine Products, Limited ," and may be delivered to Claimant's attorneys, Gordon and Rees, LLP or Bryan Y.Y. Ho, AAL, ALC.

3. The Court finds that Claimant has substantially prevailed in this civil forfeiture proceeding and is entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees and other litigation costs pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2465(b)(1).

4. The United States shall pay claimant $127,881.95 in full and complete satisfaction of its claim for attorney fees and costs, which the Court finds to be both reasonable in amount and incurred and paid by Claimant in connection with the seizure and attempted forfeiture of its shark fins by the United States in this case. Payment of the attorney's fees and costs shall be made payable to Claimant and transmitted through its attorney Bryan Y.Y. Ho, AAL, ALC.

3. The Court also finds and certifies pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2465(a)(2) that pursuant to the stipulations of the parties set forth in the Joint Motion and the records and files of this case that reasonable cause existed for the detention of the King Diamond II on the high seas, as well as for the seizure and attempted forfeiture of Claimant's shark fins.

4. Based on the representations set forth in the Joint Motion, the Court also finds that Claimant has voluntarily waived any right to assert a claim for damages against the United States arising out of detention of the King Diamond II on the high seas, the seizure and attempted forfeiture of Claimant's shark fins.

5. Neither the person or persons who made the seizure nor the prosecutor shall be liable to suit or judgment on account of such seizure or attempted forfeiture.

6. This case is dismissed in its entirety with prejudice.

20080616

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