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United States v. Approximately $961

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division

January 5, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
Approximately $961, 308.93 in funds seized from JP Morgan Chase Account XXX5580, such account held in the name of Royce Hub Trading, Inc. Approximately $38, 910.23 in funds seized from Bank of America Account XXX7847, such account held in the name of UAV Research and Development, LLC Approximately $3, 517.94 in funds seized from Bank of America Account XXX5136, such account held in the name of Earth Lab, Inc. Approximately $81, 413.13 in funds seized from Woori Bank Account XXX1720, such account held in the name of Neo Tech & Design, Inc. Approximately $445, 502.76 in funds seized from Bank of America Account XXX8497, such account held in the name of Mornay Logan DBA Holding Properties Approximately $11, 789.34 in funds seized from Bank of America Account XXX8484, such account held in the name of Mornay Logan DBA Holding Properties

          ORDER

          Robert J. Conrad, Jr. United States District Judge.

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on the United States of America's Motion, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(2), requesting that the Court enter Default Judgment as to the assets identified herein in this case, (Doc. No. 13).

         I. BACKGROUND

         On May 12, 2017, the Government filed a verified Complaint for Forfeiture In Rem (Doc. No. 1) against the Defendant Funds. In the Complaint, the Government contends that the Defendant Funds constitute or are derived from proceeds of fraud and property involved in money laundering related to a business e-mail compromise scam against a public university. The Clerk issued a Warrant (Doc. No. 2) for the Defendant Funds, which were already in the Government's possession.

         On June 1, 2017, the United States sent direct notice, (Doc. No. 9), to those individuals who the United States determined reasonably appeared to be potential claimants. The United States sent the notice via United States Postal Service Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, to the potential claimants' last known addresses. The United States notified each potential claimant of this forfeiture action and of the Government's intent to dispose of the forfeited property in accordance with the law, and of the right to submit a verified claim to this Court within 35 days after the Complaint was sent to potential petitioners. Further, as to all persons in the world with potential claims to the Defendant Funds, the United States published notice online via www.forfeiture.gov from July 4, 2017 through August 2, 2017, as shown on the Submission of Declaration of Publication. (Doc. No. 10).

         On October 10, 2017, on Motion (Doc. 11) of the Government, the Clerk of Court issued an Entry of Default (Doc. 12).

         II. DISCUSSION

         No persons or entities have filed a claim or answer within the time required by the Complaint, the direct notice, the public notice, or Supplemental Rule G of the Supplemental Rules for Certain Admiralty and Maritime Claims. Further, the time for filing claims pursuant to direct notice or notice by publication has expired. Under such circumstances, Rule 55(b)(2) provides for the Court to enter a Default Judgment. Further, under such circumstances, final forfeiture is merited.

         III. CONCLUSION

         IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that:

         1. The government's motion for default judgment of forfeiture is hereby GRANTED.

         2. Any and all right, title and interest of all persons in the world in or to the following property is hereby FORFEITED to the United States; and no other right, title, or interest shall exist therein:

• Approximately $961, 308.93 in funds seized from JP Morgan Chase Account XXX5580, such account held in the name of Royce Hub Trading, Inc.
• Approximately $38, 910.23 in funds seized from Bank of America Account XXX7847, such account held in the name of UAV ...

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