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2022 Fact Sheet

Asset Forfeiture

  • The Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program’s mission is to use asset forfeiture as a tool to deter, disrupt and dismantle criminal enterprises by depriving criminals of the instruments of illicit activity.
  • Agencies participating in the program investigate, identify, seize and forfeit the assets of criminals and their organizations while ensuring that due process rights of property owners are protected.
  • The U.S. Marshals Service serves as the primary custodian of seized property for the program. The Marshals identify and evaluate assets and manage and dispose of the majority of the property seized for forfeiture.
Key Statistics
Number of assets received in fiscal 2021 17,269
Number of assets disposed of in fiscal 2021 10,520
Number of assets on hand as of Sept. 30, 2021 26,524
Value of assets on hand as of Sept. 30, 2021 $3.38 billion
Amount distributed to victims of crime and claimants in fiscal 2021 $1.8 billion
Amount shared with participating state and local law enforcement agencies in fiscal 2021 $135 million
  • The Marshals manage a wide array of assets, including real estate, commercial businesses, cash, financial instruments, vehicles, jewelry, art, antiques, collectibles, vessels and aircraft.
  • The agency employs best practices from private industry to ensure that assets are managed and sold in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
  • The Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program has four primary goals: (1) Punish and deter criminal activity by depriving criminals of property used in or acquired through illegal activities; (2) Promote and enhance cooperation between federal, state, local, tribal and foreign law enforcement agencies; (3) Recover assets that may be used to compensate victims when authorized under federal law; and (4) Ensure the program is administered professionally, lawfully and in a manner consistent with sound public policy.
  • The effective use of asset forfeiture is an essential component of the Department’s efforts to combat the most sophisticated criminal actors and organizations – including terrorist financiers, cyber criminals, fraudsters, human traffickers and transnational drug cartels.
  • Proceeds generated from asset sales are used to operate the program, compensate victims and support various law enforcement efforts.
  • In coordination with U.S. Attorneys' Offices and DOJ litigating divisions, the Marshals manage the distribution of forfeited property and payments to victims of crime connected to those assets and to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies that directly participate in the law enforcement efforts leading to the seizure and forfeiture of assets.
  • The U.S. 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 DOJ 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 Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section of DOJ's Criminal Division; U.S. Marshals Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Drug Enforcement Administration; FBI; U.S. Attorneys’ Offices; and the Asset Forfeiture

    Management Staff.
  • Additional information can be found at, including current asset sales (public auctions and property listings).


Office of Public Affairs

February 17, 2022