United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
P. JORDAN III, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Government in this criminal case seeks a preliminary order of
forfeiture in the form of a money judgment against Defendant
Carl Reddix. Reddix opposes the Government's motion,
arguing that a personal money judgment is not authorized by
statute and the amount sought by the Government constitutes
an excessive fine under the Eighth Amendment.
party requested a hearing under Federal Rule of Criminal
Procedure 32.2(b)(1)(B). So the Court may determine the issue
“based on evidence already in the record, including any
written plea agreement, and on any additional evidence or
information submitted by the parties and accepted by the
court as relevant and reliable.” Id. Here, the
record would includes the Plea Agreement, Plea Supplement,
and Pre-Sentence Investigative Report
on the record and the applicable law, the Court concludes
that a personal money judgment may be entered and the amount
sought is not grossly disproportional to Reddix's
wrongdoing. The Government's Motion for Determination of
Money Judgment  is therefore granted.
3, 2017, Reddix pleaded guilty to one count of bribery under
18 U.S.C. § 666(a)(2), related to kickbacks he paid to
then Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner
Christopher Epps for contracts awarded to Reddix's
company, Health Assurance, LLC. Under the Plea Agreement,
Reddix stated that he understood “that an order of
forfeiture will be entered by the Court as a part of
Defendant's sentence and that such order is
mandatory.” Plea Agreement  ¶ 2. The Plea
Supplement Reddix signed went further:
Defendant understands that any forfeiture order entered by
the court is mandatory and is a part of his sentence.
. . . Defendant agrees that the assets and property being
forfeited, include, but are not limited to, the following:
A money judgment in an amount to be determined by the court.
Plea Supplement  ¶ 10.
to the PSR prepared by the United States Probation Officer,
the net benefit received by Reddix and Health Assurance, LLC,
of which Reddix is a 50% owner, was $2, 532, 876.00. PSR
¶ 45. Relying on this figure, the Government asks the
Court to order forfeiture in the form of a money judgment in
the amount of $1, 266, 438.00-half of the net benefit
received as a result of the illegal kickbacks.
makes four arguments in response to the Government's
motion. First, he argues that forfeiture is not permitted
under the statute because the Government has not identified
“(1) any real property traceable to the subject
violation; (2) any personal property traceable to the subject
violation; or (3) any proceeds traceable to the subject
violation.” Def.'s Resp.  at 2. Second, he says
“there is no basis in the statute for this Court to
enter a judgment of forfeiture in the form of a money
judgment based on an amount of money that is in actuality
nothing more than an economic fiction.” Id.
Third, he contends that the money judgment the Government
requested violates the excessive-fines clause of the Eight
Amendment. Id. at 3. Finally, he says that,
“if th[e] Court does impose the requested . . . money
judgment . . ., the Court should consider the same when
weighing the § 3553(a) factors and determining what
sentence is sufficient, but not greater than necessary[, ] to
accomplish th[e] goals” of that statute. Id.
at 5. The Court will address each argument in turn.
begin, Reddix's traceability argument falls short because
the Government has identified traceable proceeds. Title 18
U.S.C. § 981(a)(1)(C) requires forfeiture of
“[a]ny property, real or personal, which constitutes or
is derived from proceeds traceable to . . . any offense
constituting ‘specified unlawful activity' (as
defined in section 1956(c)(7) of this title), or a conspiracy
to commit such offense.” Section 1956(c)(7)(D), in
turn, defines “specified unlawful activity” to
include “an offense under . . . section 666”-the
statute of Reddix's conviction. So, under § 981,
property derived from proceeds traceable to Reddix's
bribery scheme are forfeitable.
Government contends-and Reddix does not dispute-that the
applicable definition of “proceeds” is found ...