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United States of America v. $13

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


May 3, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
$13,000.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, $8,721.93 IN BANK FUNDS, 200 ONE-TROY OUNCE SILVER LEAF CANADIAN $5 COINS, 1,100 ONE-TROY OUNCE SILVER ROUND COINS, AND 530 ASSORTED ONE-TROY OUNCE SILVER COINS, DEFENDANTS. ERIN BERKOWITZ AND MASON LYTE, CLAIMANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable Dale S. Fischer United States District Judge

CONSENT JUDGMENT OF FORFEITURE

Plaintiff and Claimants Erin Berkowitz and Mason Lyte ("Claimants") have made a stipulated request for the entry of this Consent Judgment, resolving this action in its entirety. The defendant assets were seized from Claimants. No other person is believed to have any claim to the defendant assets.

The Court, having considered the stipulation of the parties, and good cause appearing therefor, HEREBY ORDERS ADJUDGES AND DECREES:

1. The government has given and published notice of this action as required by law, including Rule G of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Local Rules of this Court. Claimants have filed a claim and answer to contest the forfeiture of the defendant assets. No other claims were filed, and the time for filing claims and answers has expired. This Court has jurisdiction over the parties to this judgment and the defendant assets. Any potential claimants to the defendant assets other than Claimants are deemed to have admitted the allegations of the complaint with respect to the defendant assets.

2. $8,721.93 of the defendant bank funds, with interest actually earned on that amount, shall be returned to Claimant Mason Lyte through his counsel. The defendant 530 assorted one-troy ounce silver coins shall be returned to Claimant Erin Berkowitz through her counsel. The United States Marshals Service shall return to Claimant Mason Lyte, via wire transfer to Claimant's counsel's client trust account or by check payable to "Paul L. Gabbert Client Trust Account" the defendant $8,721.93, with any interest actually earned on that amount, not later than 45 days after (a) the court enters this Consent Judgment and (b) Claimant Mason Lyte provides to the government the bank routing information needed to effect a wire transfer of the funds, whichever is later. The United States Marshals Service shall return to Claimant Erin Berkowitz the defendant 530 assorted one-troy ounce silver coins not later than 45 days after the court enters this Consent Judgment.

3. $24,950.00 of the value of the defendant 1,100 one-troy ounce silver round coins shall be paid by the U.S. Marshals Service to the Clerk of the Court to satisfy the $24,950.00 remaining to be paid pursuant to the restitution ordered in United States v. Mason Lyte and Kalib Kersh, CR09-0211 DSF. The government shall have judgment against the interests of Claimants (and any potential claimants) as to the remainder of the value of the defendant 1,100 one-troy ounce silver round coins, the defendant 200 one-troy ounce silver leaf Canadian $5 coins, and the defendant $13,000.00 in U.S. currency, which assets are hereby forfeited and condemned to the United States, and no other right, title or interest shall exist therein. The government shall dispose of the forfeited asset according to law.

4. The United States Marshals Service shall forward $24,950.00 to the Clerk of the Court with the reference that said payment is for the $24,950.00 remaining to be paid pursuant to the restitution ordered against Claimant Mason Lyte in United States v. Mason Lyte and Kalib Kersh, CR09-0211 DSF.

5. Claimants have released the United States of America, its agencies, agents, and officers, including employees and agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA"), as well as all agents, officers, employees and representatives of any state or local government or law enforcement agency involved in the investigation or prosecution of this matter, from any and all claims, actions or liabilities arising out of or related to the seizure and retention of the defendant assets and/or the commencement of this civil forfeiture action, including, without limitation, any claim for attorneys' fees, costs or interest which may be asserted on behalf of Claimants against the United States, whether pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2465 or otherwise.

5. The court finds that there was reasonable cause for the seizure of the defendant assets and the institution of this action as to the defendant assets. This judgment constitutes a certificate of reasonable cause pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2465 as to the defendant assets.

6. Each of the parties shall bear its own fees and costs in connection with the seizure, retention and return of the defendant assets.

Prepared by: ANDRE BIROTTE JR. United States Attorney ROBERT E. DUGDALE Assistant United States Attorney Chief, Criminal Division STEVEN R. WELK Assistant United States Attorney Chief, Asset Forfeiture Section /s/ Jonathan Galatzan JONATHAN GALATZAN Assistant United States Attorney Asset Forfeiture Section

20130503

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