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United States v. $237

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


August 20, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
$237,785.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, DEFENDANT.
KENT LA, JOHN LA, NANCY LA, CINDY LA, DAVID LA, JULIE LA AND WILLIAM LA, CLAIMANTS.

CONSENT JUDGMENT

In its complaint in this action, plaintiff United States of America (the "government") alleged that the defendant $237,785.00 in U.S. Currency (the "defendant currency") is subject to forfeiture pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 981(a)(1)(C). Claimants Kent La, John La, Nancy La, Cindy La, David La, Julie La and William La (collectively, the "claimants") filed their claims of interest and answers disputing the government's allegations.

The claimants's collective claim to the defendant currency was limited to $208,000 of the defendant currency, and this court previously entered a default judgment of forfeiture as to the remaining $29,785.00 of the defendant currency.

The parties have agreed to settle this forfeiture action and to avoid further litigation by entering into this consent judgment.

The Court, having been duly advised of and having considered the matter, and based upon the mutual consent of the parties, HEREBY ORDERS, ADJUDGES, AND DECREES:

1. This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1345 and 1355.

2. The Complaint states claims for relief pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 981(a)(1)(C).

3. Notice of this action has been given as required by law. No appearance has been made in this action by any person other than the claimants, and the time to file claims and answers has expired as to all other potential claimants. The Court deems that all potential claimants other than the claimants admit the allegations of the Complaint to be true, and hereby enters default against all such potential claimants.

4. $29,785.00 of the defendant currency has already been forfeited to the United States.

5. The remaining $208,000 of the defendant currency shall be used toward partial satisfaction of the restitution order in the amount of $1,678,743.30 to the California State Board of Equalization in The State of California v. La, BA 270564.

6. The claimants hereby release the United States of America, the State of California, all counties, municipalities and cities within the State of California, and their agencies, departments, offices, agents, employees and officers, including, but not limited to, the United States Attorney's Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and their employees and agents, from any and all, known or unknown, claims, causes of action, rights, and liabilities, including, without limitation, any claim for attorney's fees, costs, or interest which may be now or later asserted by or on behalf any of the claimants, arising out of or related to this action, or the seizure or possession of the defendant currency. The claimants represent and agree that they have not assigned and are the rightful owners of such claims, causes of action and rights.

7. The claimants also agree to hold harmless and indemnify the United States, the United States Attorney's Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and their employees from all claims by third party to any of the $208,000 being used toward partial satisfaction of the restitution order.

8. The Court finds that there was reasonable cause for the seizure of the defendant currency and institution of these proceedings. This judgment shall be construed as a certificate of reasonable cause pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2465.

9. This Consent Judgment is solely caused by the parties' desire not to further litigate this action, and does not constitute a judgment, order or ruling on the merits of this action or of any litigated matters. This judgment shall not have any res judicata, collateral estoppel, claim preclusion or issue preclusion effects whatsoever.

10. The parties shall each bear their own attorney's fees and other costs and expenses of litigation.

20090820

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