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United States v. $264

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA WESTERN DIVISION


June 25, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
$264,888.70 IN BANK ACCOUNT FUNDS, AND $77,035.00, $72,922.00, $18,095.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, AND $204,706.40 IN BANK ACCOUNT FUNDS, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable George H. Wu United States District Judge

CONSENT JUDGMENT OF FORFEITURE

The court having reviewed the accompanying Stipulation for Entry of Consent Judgment between plaintiff United States of America (the "government") and claimants Moussa Matar, Feyrouz Matar, Mohamad Moussa Matar, Rana Ahmed Ghasham (a.k.a. Rayna Ahmed Gashamp), Zeinab Matar, Nour Yousseff Saab, Ali Moussa Matar, Fatima Matar, and Ali Saleh,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:

1. Claimants Moussa Matar, Feyrouz Matar, Mohamad Moussa Matar, Rana Ahmed Ghasham (a.k.a. Rayna Ahmed Gashamp), Zeinab Matar, Nour Yousseff Saab, Ali Moussa Matar, Fatima Matar, and Ali Saleh ("Claimants") have asserted an interest in one or more of the defendants $264,888.70 in Bank Account Funds, and $77,035.00, $72,922.00, $18,095.00 in U.S. Currency, and $204,706.40 in Bank Account Funds. The defendants are referred to collectively as "defendant funds."

2. On April 17, 2007, plaintiff United States of America commenced this judicial forfeiture action by filing a Complaint alleging that the defendants are forfeitable to the United States pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 981(a)(1)(A), (a)(1)(C), and 984.

3. On July 28, 2008, the government filed a First Amended Complaint, which added the defendant $204,706.40 in Bank Account Funds as a defendant in the case. Claimants Moussa Matar, Feyrouz Matar, Mohamad Moussa Matar, Rana Ahmed Ghasham (a.k.a. Rayna Ahmed Gashamp), Zeinab Matar, Nour Yousseff Saab, Ali Moussa Matar, Fatima Matar, and Ali Saleh each filed a claim to contest the forfeiture of one or more of the defendant assets, but no answers were ever filed.

4. Plaintiff has notified other potential claimants of this action pursuant to Supplemental Rule G of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The United States published notice of the original Complaint on May 20, 27, and June 3, 2008, and the First Amended Complaint on August 14, 21, and 28, 2008. No other claims or answers have been filed to contest the forfeiture of the defendant funds other than specifically noted above, and the time for filing claims and answers has expired. All potential claimants to the defendant funds other than the Claimants who signed the parties' stipulation are deemed to have admitted the allegations of the Complaint and First Amended Complaint ("FAC").

5. It is the intention of plaintiff and the Claimants to resolve all of their competing claims to the defendant funds by their Stipulation.

6. The Court orders the following disposition of the defendant funds, based on the parties' stipulation:

a. The United States shall have judgment in the present forfeiture action against the interests of Moussa Matar, Feyrouz Matar, Mohamad Moussa Matar, Rana Ahmed Ghasham (a.k.a. Rayna Ahmed Gashamp), Zeinab Matar, Nour Yousseff Saab, Ali Moussa Matar, Fatima Matar, and Ali Saleh, and all other potential claimants, in all of the following defendants (collectively, the "Forfeited Funds"):

(1) $241,438.70 of the defendant $264,888.70 in Bank Account Funds (which defendant is particularly described at paragraphs 6(a)-(g) of the FAC); and

(2) All of the defendant $204,706.40 in Bank Account Funds (which defendant is particularly described at paragraphs 8(a)-(e) of the FAC).

The Forfeited Funds are hereby condemned and forfeited to the United States of America. The United States Marshals Service shall dispose of the Forfeited Funds in accordance with law.

b. The United States shall return the remaining $23,450.00 of the defendant $264,888.70 in Bank Account Funds; and all of the defendants $77,035.00, $72,922.00 and $18,095.00 in U.S. Currency, plus all interest actually accrued thereon since the time of seizure, to claimants, via one or more checks payable to Hussein A. Chahine Client Trust Account. Not later than 30 days after the entry of this Consent Judgment, said check(s) shall be mailed to: Hussein A. Chahine; 33 South Catalina Avenue, Suite 202; Pasadena, California 91106.

7. Except as to such rights and obligations created by their agreement, claimants Moussa Matar, Feyrouz Matar, Mohamad Moussa Matar, Rana Ahmed Ghasham (a.k.a Rayna Ahmed Gashamp), Zeinab Matar, Nour Yousseff Saab, Ali Moussa Matar, Fatima Matar, and Ali Saleh, have released and agreed to hold harmless the United States, and any agents, servants, and employees of the United States (or any state or local law enforcement agency), including without limitation the Federal Bureau of Investigation, acting in their individual or official capacities, from all claims, actions or proceedings, including, but not limited to, any claim for attorney's fees and/or costs, or interest, which may hereafter be asserted or brought by any of them or on their behalf which arise out of the present action.

8. Each party shall bear its own costs of litigation and attorney's fees. Each party waives its right to appeal. This Consent Judgment constitutes a certificate of reasonable cause pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2465(a)(2).

9. The Court retains jurisdiction over this case and the parties hereto to effectuate the terms of their settlement and this Consent Judgment. The clerk is hereby ordered to enter this Consent Judgment, which constitutes a final judgment resolving this case.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20090625

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