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United States v. Zhou

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

July 17, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
SHI YUN ZHOU

          FINAL ORDER AND JUDGMENT OF FORFEITURE

          FRANK D. WHITNEY CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on Motion of the United States of America, pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 32.2(c), for a Final Order and Judgment of Forfeiture. For good cause shown, this Court hereby GRANTS the Motion. This Courrt FINDS AS FOLLOWS:

         I. Background

         On March 21, 2018, a Grand Jury returned an Indictment (Doc. 3) against Defendant, charging him with, inter alia, narcotics trafficking and money laundering offenses. The Indictment contained a finding of probable cause for forfeiture of a variety of items that facilitated controlled substances offenses, were proceeds of controlled substances offenses, and were involved in money laundering. The items included, among other items, the items identified for final forfeiture herein.

         On August 23, 2018, Defendant pled guilty (Doc. 22) via Plea Agreement (Doc. 20) to controlled substance conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy charges set forth in the Indictment. On January 30, 2019, this Court issued a Consent Order and Judgment of Forfeiture (Doc. 33) for, among other items, the funds, currency, vehicles, and real properties identified for final forfeiture herein. On the same day, this Court also issued a Second Consent Order and Judgment of Forfeiture (Doc. 34) for three firearms seized in this case.

         Beginning on January 30, 2019 and continuing for thirty days, the United States published notice (Doc. 39-1) of forfeiture of the items in the Consent Order and Second Consent Order. Further, on February 4, 2019 and February 5, 2019, the United States sent personal notice of the Consent Order and Second Consent Order to the following recipients, via Federal Express, notifying each recipient of this forfeiture action and the Government's intent to dispose of all forfeited property in accordance with law, and further notifying each recipient of the right to submit a verified claim to this Court within thirty days of receipt of the notice:

NOTICE RECIPIENT

DATE RECEIVED

Lili Bian

Received 02/06/2019

Lili Bian c/o Anthony Scheer

Received 02/06/2019

Guoen Zhou

Received 02/06/2019

Reginald Bradshaw

Received 02/06/2019

James Thomas Barham

Received 02/06/2019

Patrick Wannamaker

Received 02/06/2019

         On May 24, 2019, the United States filed a Notice (Doc. 43) in this case, indicating that administrative forfeiture of a Maserati vehicle, two Mercedes vehicles, an Audi vehicle, a Porsche vehicle, and three items of gold jewelry had concluded and no further order on such items was necessary in this case.[1] Then, on July 5, 2019, on Motion (Doc. 47) of the United States and pursuant to an agreement between the United States and potential claimant Lili Bian, this Court dismissed (Doc. 48) $300, 000 in funds and the real property at 5841 Five Knolls Drive, Charlotte, North Carolina from the Consent Order.

         No petitions have been filed in this action and the time for filing petitions has expired. Therefore, this Court may now issue a Final Order and Judgment Confirming Forfeiture of the remaining items in this case that have not been administratively forfeited or dismissed from the Consent Order and Second Consent Order. Defendant maintained an interest, by virtue of title, possession, source of funding, and/or control, in each of the items remaining for final forfeiture.[2]

         II. Legal Conclusions

         Pursuant to Rule 32.2(c)(2), if no third party files a timely petition, the preliminary order becomes the final order of forfeiture if the Court finds that the defendant (or any combination of defendants convicted in the case) had an interest in the property that is forfeitable under the applicable statute. Based on the record, Rule 32.2(c)(2) is satisfied and the Court may now confirm the Consent Order and Judgment of Forfeiture and Second Consent Order and Judgment of Forfeiture as the Final Order and Judgment of Forfeiture to give the Government clear title to the forfeited assets.

         It is therefore ORDERED:

         In accordance with Rule 32.2(c)(2), the Consent Order and Judgment of Forfeiture and Second Consent Order and Judgment of Forfeiture are confirmed as final. All right, title, and interest in the following property, whether real, personal, or mixed, has therefore been forfeited to the United States for disposition according to law pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 32.2, 21 U.S.C. § 853, 18 U.S.C. § 982, and/or 28 U.S.C. § 2461(c), and the United States shall take or maintain possession of such properties, have clear title to the properties, and warrant good title as set forth in 21 U.S.C. § 853(n)(7):

•Approximately $530.47 in funds seized from Wells Fargo Account XXXXXX3719, such account held in the ...

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