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United States v. Approximately $21

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

August 27, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
APPROXIMATELY $21, 800.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, Defendant.

BENJAMIN B. WAGNER, United States Attorney, HEATHER MARDEL JONES, Assistant United States Attorney, United States Courthouse Fresno, California, Attorneys for the United States.

MARK W. COLEMAN, Attorney for Claimant Peter Chang

STIPULATION AND ORDER EXTENDING THE UNITED STATES' TIME TO FILE A COMPLAINT FOR FORFEITURE AND/OR TO OBTAIN AN INDICTMENT ALLEGING FORFEITURE AND TO STAY THE FORFEITURE PROCEEDINGS

ANTHONY W. ISHII, Senior District Judge.

It is hereby stipulated by and between the United States of America and Claimant Peter Chang (hereafter "Claimant"), by and through his respective attorney, as follows:

1. On or about May 17, 2013, Claimant filed a claim, in the administrative forfeiture proceeding, with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration with respect to the approximately $21, 800.00 in U.S. Currency (hereafter "defendant currency"), which was seized on or about March 19, 2013.

2. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration sent the written notice of intent to forfeit required by 18 U.S.C. § 983(a)(1)(A) to all known interested parties. The time has expired for any person to file a claim to the currency under 18 U.S.C. § 983(a)(2)(A)-(E), and no person other than the Claimant has filed a claim to the currency as required by law in the administrative forfeiture proceeding.

3. Under 18 U.S.C. § 983(a)(3)(A), the United States is required to file a complaint for forfeiture against the currency and/or to obtain an indictment alleging that the currency is subject to forfeiture within 90 days after a claim has been filed in the administrative forfeiture proceedings, unless the court extends the deadline for good cause shown or by agreement of the parties.

4. As provided by 18 U.S.C. § 981(g)(1) and (g)(2), both the United States and the Claimant may request a stay of the civil forfeiture proceedings. Pursuant to (g)(1), upon a motion by the United States, the court "shall" stay the civil forfeiture proceeding if the court determines that civil discovery will adversely affect the ability of the Government to conduct a related criminal investigation or the prosecution of a related criminal case. Pursuant to (g)(2), upon a motion by the claimant, the court "shall" stay the civil forfeiture proceedings if the court determines that the claimant is the subject of a related criminal investigation or case, the claimant has standing to assert a claim in the civil forfeiture proceeding, and continuation of the forfeiture proceeding will burden the right of the claimant against self-incrimination in the related investigation or case.

5. As provided in 18 U.S.C. § 983(a)(3)(A) and 981(g)(1) and (g)(2), the parties wish by agreement to stay the time in which the United States is required to file a civil complaint for forfeiture against the currency and/or to obtain an indictment alleging that the currency is subject to forfeiture; and also to stay the civil forfeiture proceedings entirely, as the parties stipulate and agree that there is a related ongoing criminal investigation of which claimant is a subject, that civil discovery will adversely affect the ability of the United States to conduct the related criminal investigation, that the claimant has standing to assert a claim in the civil forfeiture proceeding, and that continuation of the forfeiture proceeding will burden the right of claimant against self-incrimination in the related criminal investigation.

6. Accordingly, the parties agree that the stay be in place during the pendency of the ongoing criminal investigation and during any related criminal prosecution which is a product of the ongoing criminal investigation. The parties request that the court set a status hearing on or about September 1, 2014. The parties will file a joint status report one week prior, informing the court whether the continuation of the stay is still necessary.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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