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Asset Forfeiture Program 

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  • The Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program is a key component of the federal government’s law enforcement efforts to combat major criminal activity by disrupting and dismantling illegal enterprises, depriving criminals of the proceeds of illegal activity, deterring crime and restoring property to victims.
  • The U.S. Marshals Service plays a critical role in identifying and evaluating assets that represent the proceeds of crime as well as efficiently managing and selling assets seized and forfeited by DOJ.
  • The Marshals Service manages a wide array of assets, including real estate, commercial businesses, cash, financial instruments, vehicles, jewelry, art, antiques, collectibles, vessels and aircraft.

Key Statistics

Value of assets on hand as of Sept. 30, 2016

$1.5 billion

Number of assets on hand as of Sept. 30, 2016

15,346

Amount distributed to victims of crime and claimants in fiscal 2016

$183 million

Amount shared with participating state and local law enforcement agencies in fiscal 2016

$305 million

  • Proceeds generated from asset sales are used to operate the program, compensate victims and support various law enforcement efforts.
  • The Marshals manage the distribution of proceeds and payments to victims of crime and other innocent third parties, all of which helps to mitigate the financial damage inflicted by criminal activity. The agency employs best practices from private industry to ensure that assets are managed and sold in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
     
  • The Marshals Service supports communities by transferring certain types of forfeited assets to state, local and nonprofit organizations. Through the Operation Goodwill program, forfeited real or personal property of marginal value can be transferred to state or local governments in support of drug abuse treatment, drug crime prevention and education, housing, job skills and other community-based public health and safety programs.
  • The Asset Forfeiture Program was created in 1984 when Congress passed the Comprehensive Crime Control Act, which provided federal prosecutors and agents the legal and regulatory tools necessary to keep up with, and ahead of, those who commit crime for economic benefit.
  • DOJ Asset Forfeiture Program participants include the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the Department of Justice Criminal Division; U.S. Marshals Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Drug Enforcement Administration; FBI; and U.S. Attorneys' Offices. Other participants include the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Food and Drug Administration; Department of Agriculture Office of the Inspector General; Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security; and Defense Criminal Investigative Service.

 

Asset Forfeiture

 

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