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United States v. $14

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division

August 9, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
$14, 800.00 IN UNITED STATES CURRENCY, ET AL., DEFENDANT PROPERTY.

          DEFAULT JUDGMENT OF FORFEITURE

          Louis Guirola, Jr. United States District Judge

         Before the Court is Plaintiff United States of America's [11] Motion for Default Judgment of Forfeiture. Having considered the Motion and the relevant authorities, the Court finds that the relief the United States seeks should be granted. The Court further finds and adjudicates as follows:

         1. On May 24, 2019, the United States filed in the above-styled cause a Verified Complaint [1] for Forfeiture in Rem. The Verified Complaint alleges that the “Defendant Property”-

Asset Description

Asset ID Number

$14, 800.00 in United States Currency

18-ICE-001826

HP Pavilion Laptop, Serial #: 5CD60445ZL, Passcode: 3121151

18-ICE-001828

Miscellaneous documents

18-ICE-001829

Credit Card Scanner-DEFTUN, MSR X6, SN: 0616108644

18-ICE-001830

Apple iPhone 7, in black protective case, telephone number 305-218-5458, ICCID-89014103277311885193

18-ICE-001831

Three (3) counterfeit credit cards:

(1) Citi Bank “thankyou Preferred” Visa “Travel Card” with no embossed credit card number, but encoded with Bank of America credit card number 474476xxxx4068, in the name of M.D.;

(2) Bank of America Visa “Travel Card” embossed with ITS Merchants and Planters Bank credit card number 400799xxxx7758, but encoded with Bank of Botetourt credit card number 449548xxxx6015; and

3) JP Chase Visa eBay “Travel Card” embossed with Wells Fargo Bank credit card number 473702XXXX3570, but encoded with CNB Bank credit card number 473311XXXX2745.

18-ICE-001827

18-ICE-001832

-is subject to forfeiture under 18 U.S.C. § 492, 18 U.S.C. §§ 981(a)(1)(C) and (a)(1)(D), and 28 U.S.C. § 2461.

         2. On May 28, 2019, the Court issued a Warrant of Arrest in Rem. Warrant of Arrest in Rem, ECF No. 4.

         3. Although Jorge Alberto Perez and Alexey Aguilera waived their rights-pursuant to Rule G(4)(b)(i) of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions-to direct, written notice of this instant civil asset forfeiture action, on May 28, 2019, the United States sent Perez and Aguilera (the only potential claimants reasonably known to the United States) copies of the Verified Complaint for Forfeiture in Rem, Application for Warrant of Arrest in Rem, Warrant of Arrest in Rem, and Notice of Complaint for Forfeiture, via e-mail to their respective attorneys of record, as evidenced by the United States' Proof of Service, filed with this Court on August 5, 2019. See Proof of Service, ECF No. 8.

         4. Beginning on May 30, 2019, the United States published for thirty (30) consecutive days on an official government internet website at www.forfeiture.gov notice of this instant civil asset forfeiture action against the Defendant Property, as evidenced by the Proof of Publication filed in this cause on August 5, 2019. See Proof of Pub., ECF No. 7.

         5. The publication and direct notice informed Jorge Alberto Perez and Alexey Aguilera, and all other persons or entities, known or unknown, having or claiming an interest in the Defendant Property that the Defendant Property had been arrested and that this instant civil forfeiture action was pending. The publication and direct notice also informed said persons and entities claiming an interest in the Defendant Property had at least thirty-five (35) days after the plaintiff mailed its direct notice, or sixty (60) days after the first website publication on an official government website, to file a claim and twenty (20) days after filing such claim to file an answer to the Complaint. Furthermore, the notice referred to Rule G(5) of Supplemental Rules of Admiralty and Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions, and informed any claimant that if the Supplemental Rules were not followed, the Court could strike any claim and answer and enter default judgment of forfeiture or summary judgment against any improperly claimed interest in the Defendant Property.

         6. As of this date, no claims, answers, or appearances in this cause have been filed. Thus, the time to file a valid claim or answer in this action has lapsed pursuant to Supplemental Rule G.

         7. As such, all possible claimants are in total default; the Clerk of Court's August 6, 2019, Entry of Default [ECF No. 10] was proper; and the United States is entitled to a default judgment of forfeiture against the Defendant Property.

         IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED AND ADJUDGED THAT:

         a. The United States of America is hereby given a default judgment of forfeiture against the Defendant Property described below:

Asset Description

Asset ID Number

$14, 800.00 in United States Currency

18-ICE-001826

HP Pavilion Laptop, Serial #: 5CD60445ZL, Passcode: 3121151

18-ICE-001828

Miscellaneous documents

18-ICE-001829

Credit Card Scanner-DEFTUN, MSR X6, SN: 0616108644

18-ICE-001830

Apple iPhone 7, in black protective case, telephone number 305-218-5458, ICCID-89014103277311885193

18-ICE-001831

Three (3) counterfeit credit cards:

(1) Citi Bank “thankyou Preferred” Visa “Travel Card” with no embossed credit card number, but encoded with Bank of America credit card number 474476xxxx4068, in the name of M.D.;

(2) Bank of America Visa “Travel Card” embossed with ITS Merchants and Planters Bank credit card number 400799xxxx7758, but encoded with Bank of Botetourt credit card number 449548xxxx6015; and

(3) JP Chase Visa eBay “Travel Card” embossed with Wells Fargo Bank credit card number 473702XXXX3570, but encoded with CNB Bank credit card number 473311XXXX2745.

18-ICE-001827

18-ICE-001832


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