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United States v. Martinez

United States District Court, S.D. California

April 23, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Plaintiffs,
v.
STEVEN MARTINEZ, Defendant.

ORDER

WILLIAM Q. HAYES, District Judge.

The matter before the Court is the Motion to Expunge Lis Pendens Recorded Against 15859 Rosemont Lane, Ramona, CA 92065 (ECF No. 161) filed by Claimant, Nationstar Mortgage LLC ("Nationstar").

I. Background

A. Preliminary Order of Criminal Forfeiture

On April 15, 2011, the Government recorded a Notice of Lis Pendens, stating that "an indictment has been returned in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California against Defendant STEVEN MARTINEZ... Upon conviction, Defendant... will be ordered to forfeit to the United States the real property located at 15859 Rosemont Lane, Ramona, California...." (Request for Judicial Notice, ECF No. 164-1 at 35).

On August 9, 2012, Defendant Steven Martinez pled guilty, and admitted to the following:

[b]eginning in at least January 2004, and continuing up to and including at least 2008, within the Southern District of California, and elsewhere, defendant MARTINEZ engaged in a scheme to defraud his taxpayer-clients by filing false tax returns with the IRS and California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), and rather than remitting his clients full tax payments, defendant MARTINEZ stole a majority of the money and used it for personal benefit.

(ECF No. 67 at 6).

On April 16, 2013, the Court entered a Preliminary Order of Criminal Forfeiture stating the following:

[b]ased upon the guilty plea of the Defendant, the United States is hereby authorized to take custody and/or control of the following assets, and all right, title and interest of Defendant STEVEN MARTINEZ in the following properties are hereby forfeited to the United States for disposition in accordance with the law, subject to the provisions of 21 U.S.C. ยง 853(n)... All real property located in the State of California, County of San Diego, commonly known as 15859 Rosemont Lane, Ramona, California, 92065....

(ECF No. 116-1 at 4). The Court further ordered that "any person, other than the Defendant, having or claiming a legal interest in... forfeited properties must file a petition with the Court within (30) days of the final publication of notice or of receipt of actual notice, whichever is earlier." Id. at 6.

On April 16, 2013, the Court issued a Judgment in the Criminal Case. (ECF No. 116). Pursuant to Rule 32.2(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Preliminary Order of Criminal Forfeiture became final, and part of the sentence included in the Judgment. Fed. R. Crim. P. 32.2(b)(3).

B. Third Party Petitioners

Three Third Party Petitions were filed in response to the Order of Criminal Forfeiture, asserting interests in the property located at 15859 ...


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