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Asset Forfeiture Program 

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  • The Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program has become a key part of the federal government’s efforts to combat major criminal activity by stripping criminals of their ill-gotten gains.
  • The U.S. Marshals Service plays a critical role by managing and selling assets seized and forfeited by federal law enforcement agencies nationwide.
  • Proceeds generated from asset sales are used to compensate victims, supplement funding for law enforcement initiatives and support community programs.
  • The Marshals Service manages various types of assets, including real estate, vehicles, commercial businesses, cash, financial instruments, jewelry, art, antiques, collectibles, vessels and aircraft.
  • The Marshals manage the distribution of equitable sharing proceeds to state and local law enforcement agencies that participated in investigations leading to forfeiture as well as payments to victims of crime and innocent third parties.

Key Statistics

Value of assets being managed by the U.S. Marshals Service $3.1 billion
Number of assets being managed by the U.S. Marshals Service 17,564
Amount distributed to victims of crime and claimants in fiscal 2015 $605 million
Amount shared with participating state and local law enforcement agencies in fiscal 2015 $365 million
Equitable sharing proceeds distributed since fiscal 1985 $7.4 billion

  • The agency uses 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 a program called Operation Goodwill, 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 agency also assists with pre-seizure planning and analysis, seizure operations, execution of court orders, litigation support and distribution of proceeds.
  • The Asset Forfeiture Program was created in 1984 when Congress passed the Comprehensive Crime Control Act, giving federal prosecutors new forfeiture provisions to combat crime. This legislation also created the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund.
  • Asset Forfeiture Program participants include the U.S. Marshals Service; FBI; Drug Enforcement Administration; Executive Office for United States Attorneys; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Food and Drug Administration; Department of Agriculture; Bureau of Diplomatic Security; Defense Criminal Investigative Service; and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.


Asset Forfeiture is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice