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United States v. $2

United States District Court, C.D. California, Western Division

April 6, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
$2, 757, 564.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY AND TWO ITEMS OF JEWELRY, Defendants. JAVIER MARQUEZ, ROMELIA MARQUEZ, ABEL MARQUEZ and CYNTHIA VENCEBI, Claimants.

          SANDRA R. BROWN Acting United States Attorney LAWRENCE S. MIDDLETON Assistant United States Attorney Chief, Criminal Division STEVEN R. WELK Assistant United States Attorney Chief, Asset Forfeiture Section VICTOR A. RODGERS California Bar No. 101281 Assistant United States Attorney Asset Forfeiture Section Attorneys for Plaintiff UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

          LAW OFFICE OF ERIC HONIG ASTOURIAN AND ASSOCIATES, INC. PARO ASTOURIAN, ESQ. Attorneys for Claimants JAVIER MARQUEZ, ROMELIA MARQUEZ, ABEL MARQUEZ and CYNTHIA VENCEBI

          CONSENT JUDGMENT BETWEEN PLAINTIFF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND CLAIMANTS ABEL MARQUEZ AND CYNTHIA VENCEBI WITH RESPECT TO THE PORTION OF THE DEFENDANT $2, 757, 564.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY CLAIMED BY CLAIMANTS ABEL MARQUEZ AND CYNTHIA VENCEBI IN THIS CIVIL FORFEITURE PROCEEDING

          HONORABLE FERNANDO M. OLGUIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On or about March 26, 2014, Plaintiff United States of America (“the government, ” “the United States of America” or “plaintiff”) filed a Complaint for Forfeiture alleging that the defendants $2, 757, 564.00 in U.S. Currency and Two Items of Jewelry (collectively, the “defendant assets”) are subject to forfeiture pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(6) and 18 U.S.C. § 981(a)(1)(A) & (C).

         On or about July 18, 2014, claimants Abel Marquez and Cynthia Vencebi filed a claim to $76, 450.00 of the defendant $2, 757, 564.00 in U.S. Currency (the “Abel Marquez/Cynthia Vencebi-claimed defendant currency”), and on or about July 22, 2016, filed an answer to the Complaint.

         No other parties have appeared in this case with respect to the Abel Marquez/Cynthia Vencebi-claimed defendant currency[1] and the time for filing claims and answers has expired.

         The government, on the one hand, and claimants Abel Marquez and Cynthia Vencebi, on the other hand, have now agreed to settle this action, without any admission of any wrongdoing, relative to the disputes between them with respect to the Abel Marquez/Cynthia Vencebi-claimed defendant currency 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 hereto, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED:

1. As between the United States of America, on the one hand, and claimants Abel Marquez and Cynthia Vencebi, on the other hand, this Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action and the parties to this Consent Judgment with respect to the Abel Marquez/Cynthia Vencebi-claimed defendant currency.
2. As between the United States of America, on the one hand, and claimants Abel Marquez and Cynthia Vencebi, on the other hand, the Complaint for Forfeiture states a claim for relief pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(6) and 18 U.S.C. § 981(a)(1)(A) & (C) with respect to the Abel Marquez/Cynthia Vencebi-claimed defendant currency.
3. Notice of this action has been given as required by law. No appearances have been made in the litigation by any person other than claimants Abel Marquez and Cynthia Vencebi with respect to the Abel Marquez/Cynthia Vencebi-claimed defendant currency. Except for the claimants who filed claims in this action, the Court deems that all other potential claimants admit the allegations of the Complaint for Forfeiture to be true with respect to the Abel Marquez/Cynthia Vencebi-claimed defendant currency.
4. $76, 450.00 in U.S. currency claimed by claimants Abel Marquez and Cynthia Vencebi, together with the interest earned thereon by the government since seizure, shall be returned to claimant Abel Marquez.
5. The funds to be returned to claimant Abel Marquez pursuant to paragraph 4 above shall be paid to claimant Abel Marquez by electronic transfer directly into the client trust account of his attorneys of record in this case (Astourian & Associates, Inc.). Claimant Abel Marquez (through his attorney of record Paro Astourian, Esq.) shall provide to the United States of America the information necessary for the United States of America to complete the transfer.
6. Claimants Abel Marquez and Cynthia Vencebi, and each of them, hereby release the United States of America, its agencies, agents, officers, employees and representatives, including, without limitation, all agents, officers, employees and representatives of the Drug Enforcement Administration or the Department of Justice and their respective agencies, as well as all agents, officers, employees and representatives of any state or local governmental or law enforcement agency involved in the investigation or prosecution of this matter, from any and all claims (including, without limitation, any petitions for remission, which Abel Marquez and Cynthia Vencebi, and each of them, hereby withdraw), actions or liabilities arising out of or related to this action, including, without limitation, any ...

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