UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. $54,760.00 IN UNITED STATES CURRENCY
ORDER granting Plaintiff 's 7 Motion for Default Judgment and a Final Order of Forfeiture against the Defendant property, etc. Signed by Judge Susan D. Wigenton on 06/06/2017. (ek)
WILLIAM E. FITZPATRICK
Acting United States Attorney
By: Peter W, Gaeta
Assistant United States Attorney
970 Broad Street, Suite 700
Newark, New Jersey 07102
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Hon. Susan D. Wigenton, U.S.D.J.
Civil Action. No, 16-2075 (SDW)
DEFAULT JUDGMENT AND
FINAL ORDER OF FORFEITURE
$54,76000 IN UNITED STATES
Defendant in rem.
WHEREAS, on or about August 27, 2015, the US. Drug Enforcement
Administration (“DEA”) seized $54,76000 in United States currency, from
carry-on luggage belonging to Lionel Manigault at Terminal C, Gate 131 at
Newark Liberty International Airport in Elizabeth, New Jersey (the ‘defendant
WHEREAS, on or about January 15, 2016, the DEA received an
administrative claim from Lionel Manigault through his counsel Erica C.
WHEREAS, on April 14, 2016, the United States commenced a civil
judicial action for the forfeiture of the defendant property by filing a Verified
Complaint for Forfeiture In Rem (the “Verified Complaint”).
WHEREAS the Verified Complaint alleges that the defendant property is
subject to forfeiture pursuant to 21 U.S.C.
§ 881(a)(6), because it constitutes
money furnished or intended to be furnished in exchange for a controlled
substance or represents proceeds traceable to an exchange for a controlled
substance, a violation of the Controlled Substances Act, in violation of 21
§ 801, et seq.;
WHEREAS on or about April 20, 2016, the United States filed with this
Court a Notice of Complaint for Forfeiture In Rem (the “Notice of Complaint”)
(ECF No.3) and sent copies of the Verified Complaint and the Notice of
Complaint, by certified mail return receipt requested, to Erica C. Mirabella,
Esq. in her capacity as counsel to Lionel Manigault.
(See Declaration of Peter
Gaeta with Exhibits, hereinafter “Gaeta Dcci.” at Exhibit A, filed herein>;
WHEREAS the Notice of Complaint stated that any person who wished to
assert an interest in and avoid forfeiture of the defendant property must file a
conforming Claim with the Clerk of the Court no later than thirty-five (35) days
from the date of mailing of direct notice or the date of delivery, if personally
served (i.e. May 25, 2016), or, if direct notice was not sent to the claimant or
the claimant’s attorney, no later than 60 days after the first day of publication
on an official irternet government forfeiture site.
In addition, the Notice of
Complaint also detailed the procedure for filing a claim and answer while
stating that failure to timely file a conforming Claim, or failure to file an Answer
or Motion, would result in the United States seeking judgment by default for
the relief demanded in the Verified Complaint for Forfeiture In Rem.;
WHEREAS, the United States posted notice of this forfeiture action on an
official government internet site, namely www.forfeiture. gov, beginning on April
21, 2016, and running for thirty consecutive days, through May 20, 2016, as
permitted by Rule O(4)(a)(iv)(C) of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or
Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure (the “Supplemental Rules”).
Proof of publication was flied with the
Court on or about May 2, 2017;
WHEREAS, on or about April 24, 2016, copies of the Verified Complaint,
and Notice of Complaint were delivered to the office of Erica C. Mirabella, Esq.,
Mirabella Law, LLC, as counsel for potential claimant Lionel Manigault, which
is located at 132 Boviston Street, 5th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116.
(Gaeta Dccl. at Exhibit A); and
WHEREAS no conforming Claim and/or Answer has been filed within the
time required by Rule G(5)(a) of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or
Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
and 18 U.S.C. § 983(a)(4)(A) for the defendant property.
NOW THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY, ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND
That a Default Judgment and a Final Order of Forfeiture is granted
against the defendant property, namely $54,76OOO in United States currency,
and no right, title or interest in the defendant property shall exist in any other
That any and all forfeited funds, including but not limited to
currency, currency equivalents and certificates of deposits, as well as any
income derived as a result of the United States Marshals Service’s management
of any property forfeited herein, after the payment of costs and expenses
incurred in connection with the forfeiture and disposition of the forfeited
property, shall be deposited forthwith by the United States Marshals Service
into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund, in accordance with the
The Clerk is hereb directed
counsel of record.
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