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United States of America v. N. Harrison Ave.

June 27, 2011

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
N. HARRISON AVE., FRESNO, CALIFORNIA APN:407-751-08, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Oliver W. Wanger United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER RE: MOTION TO DISMISS (Doc. 12)REAL PROPERTY LOCATED AT 6415

I. INTRODUCTION.

On February 22, 2011, the United States filed a complaint for forfeiture in rem against Real Property Located at 6415 N. Harrison Avenue, Fresno, Fresno County, California. (Doc. 1).

On May 2, 2011, claimants Bok Hee Ee and Judy Ee ("Claimants") filed a motion to dismiss. (Doc. 12). The United States filed opposition on May 27, 2011. (Doc. 15). Claimants filed a reply on June 3, 2011. (Doc. 16).

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND.

The defendant in this action is real property located at 6415 North Harrison Avenue, Fresno, Fresno County, California, APN: 407-751-08 ("the Property"), described as follows:

Lot 2 of Tract No. 3600, Craycroft Village, according to the map thereof recorded in Volume 42, Page 1 of Plats, Fresno County Records. APN: 407-751-08 The recorded owners of the Property are Bok Hee Ee ("Ee"), a widow, and her daughter Judy C. Ee, a single woman, as joint tenants. Bok Hee Ee purchased the Property in 1993. On or about January 23, 2001, Bok Hee Ee opened a Home-Equity Line of Credit ("HELOC") with Bank of the West secured by the equity value of the Property.

Ee married Kwan Yong Choi ("Choi") in October 2004. The complaint alleges that an investigation conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") from February 2009 to February 2010 revealed that Ee and Choi used the HELOC to launder funds from fraudulent investment schemes perpetrated by Choi. Choi was indicted on May 27, 2010 for money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956 and 1957; Choi's criminal case is pending.

According to the complaint, Choi placed fraudulently obtained funds into a Bank of America business account number ***9021 ("9021 Account") and a personal Bank of America account number ***838 ("838 Account"). Choi used funds from the 9021 Account and 838 Account to fund checks deposited into the following accounts:

a. Hanmi Bank account number ***753 dba Trinity California Theological Seminary controlled by Choi;

b. Bank of America account number *** 575 in the name of Kwan Choi (hereafter "BoA575");

c. Bank of the West account number ***286 in the name of Bok Ee (hereafter "BoW286");

d. Bank of the West account number ***166 in the name of Bok Ee (hereafter "BoW166"); and,

e. Bank of America account number ***159 in the name of Bok Choi, the married name of Bok ...


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