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U.S. Marshals Service

Asset Forfeiture Program

E-Share Program - Frequently Asked Questions

Equitable Sharing

Q: What is Equitable Sharing?
A: Equitable sharing is a DOJ program designed to enhance cooperation among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies through the sharing of proceeds resulting from federal forfeitures.

Q: How does my agency become eligible for equitable sharing?
A: Any state or local law enforcement agency that wishes to become eligible to take part in the equitable sharing program must submit the Federal Sharing Agreement and the Annual Certification Report to:

Asset Forfeiture Money Laundering Section
Criminal Division
U.S. Department of Justice
1400 New York Avenue, N.W.
Bond Building, Tenth Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005

The submission of these requirements is a prerequisite to to the approval of any equitable sharing request. Noncompliance may result in the denial of the agency's sharing request.

Q: What is the Federal Sharing Agreement?
A: The Federal Sharing Agreement is a document which binds its signatories to the statutes and guidelines that regulate the equitable sharing program and certify that the law enforcement agency will comply with said guidelines and statutes. The agreement must be signed by the head of the law enforcement agency and a designated official of its governing body. Effective October 1, 1996 the agreement must be submitted every three years on or before October 1. If a change in administration occurs at the state or local law enforcement agency and/or its governing body within the three year period, the requesting agency must submit a new agreement.

Q: What is the Annual Certification Report?
A: The Annual Certification Report is a document whose signatories certify that the accounting of funds received and spent by the law enforcement agency is accurate and in compliance with the guidelines and statutes that govern the equitable sharing program. This report is due 60 days after the close of the requesting agency's fiscal year. Submission of this report also applies to any agency that had any unspent previously shared money in a holding account at any time during the fiscal year.

Q: How much money will my agency receive by participating?
A: The percentage shared with state and local law enforcement agencies is based on the degree of the agencies' direct participation in the case. The percentage is always based upon the net proceeds of the forfeiture.

Q: Who determines the percentage of the share my agency will receive?
Sharing decisions are documented on the form DAG-72, Decision Form for Transfer of Federally Forfeited Property. Authority to make decisions on equitable sharing requests depend on the value of the assets seized and whether the asset is forfeited through administrative or judicial proceedings. The investigative agency, e.g., DEA, FBI and INS, determines the amount of the equitable share in administrative forfeiture cases where the value of the asset is less than $1 million. In judicial forfeiture cases where the value of the asset is less than $1 million, the USAO determines the amount of the equitable share. Further, in both administrative and judicial forfeiture cases where the asset is valued at $1 million or more, in multi-district cases, and in cases involving the transfer of real property, the Criminal Division determines the amount of the equitable share.

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