United States of America v. $8,000,000 in Funds
DEFAULT JUDGMENT granting the United States of America's 13 Amended MOTION for Default Judgment, and all right, title, and interest of all persons in the world in or to the Deft Property, $8,000,000 in Funds, is he reby forfeited to the United States, and no other right, title, or interest shall exist therein. The United States is hereby directed to dispose of the Deft Property as provided by law. Signed by District Judge Martin Reidinger on 1/08/2018. (ejb)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
CIVIL CASE NO. 1:17-cv-00015-MR-DLH
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
$8,000,000 in funds in the form of )
a wire transfer from Baxter
THIS MATTER is before the Court on the Government’s Amended
Motion for Default Judgment [Doc. 13].
On January 12, 2017, the Government filed a verified Complaint for
Forfeiture In Rem [Doc. 1] of the above-captioned $8,000,000 in funds in the
form of a wire transfer from Baxter Healthcare Corporation. The Government
contended that the Defendant Property constituted, derived from, or was
traceable to proceeds of a violation of 21 U.S.C. § 331, a federal healthcare
offense relating to a health care benefit program involving the introduction
into interstate commerce of an adulterated drug. Along with the Complaint,
the Government filed a Settlement Agreement [Doc. 2] between the United
States and Baxter Healthcare Corporation. In the Settlement Agreement,
Baxter Healthcare Corporation agreed that it was the sole owner of the
Defendant Property and that the Property was not subject to any claims of
ownership, and agreed to forfeit all of its right, title, and interest in the
Defendant Property to the United States. Upon filing of the Complaint and
Settlement, the Clerk issued a Warrant of Arrest In Rem [Doc. 4] and the
Government seized the Defendant Property pursuant to the Warrant.
Thereafter, the Government provided notice by publication as to all
persons in the world with potential claims to the Defendant Property.
Specifically, from January 20, 2017 through February 18, 2017, the
Government published notice via www.forfeiture.gov as shown on the
Submission of Declaration of Publication dated and filed on March 21, 2017
[Doc. 6]. Based on that notice, the deadline for filing claims was March 21,
Following a hearing whereby the Court expressed some concerns
about the sufficiency of the property description included in the
January/February 2017 internet notice, the Government engaged in
numerous communications with Baxter Healthcare Corporation in order to
refine the description of the property in the internet notice. The Government
ultimately determined that the best available description of the property was
“$8,000,000 in Funds in the possession of the United States, such Funds
derived from a wire sent on or about January 18, 2017 from Baxter
Healthcare Corporation to the United States and originating from a JP
Morgan Chase Account known as BHC Account XXXX284.”
Using that property description, the Government again provided notice
by publication as to all person in the world with potential claims to the
Defendant property. Specifically, from October 13, 2017 through November
11, 2017, the Government published notice via www.forfeiture.gov as shown
on the Submission of Declaration of Publication dated and filed on November
22, 2017 [Doc. 10]. Based on that notice, the deadline for filing claims was
December 12, 2017.
Based on the foregoing, process was fully issued and returned
according to law.
Further, no claims were filed within the time period
provided by law. Therefore, on December 20, 2017, on Motion [Doc. 11] of
the Government, the Clerk of Court entered a default pursuant to Fed. R.
Civ. P. 55(a) [Doc. 12].
Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b) provides for entry of the requested Default
Judgment by the Court. Here, the United States has provided notice of
forfeiture in accordance with Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Supplemental
Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions, Rule G.
Further, the time period for filing claims has expired, and no claims have
been filed. Finally, the Clerk has entered default. Therefore, the requested
Default Judgment is appropriate.
Based on the foregoing findings, the Court concludes that the
Government is entitled to a Judgment of Forfeiture by Default against the
IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREE that the
Government’s Amended Motion for Default Judgment [Doc. 13] is hereby
GRANTED, and any and all right, title, and interest of all persons in the world
in or to the Defendant Property is hereby forfeited to the United States, and
no other right, title, or interest shall exist therein. The United States is hereby
directed to dispose of the Defendant Property as provided by law.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Signed: January 8, 2018
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