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United States v. Lucas

3rd Circuit

January 20, 2021

In United States v. Lucas, the Third Circuit dealt with an appeal from a third-party petitioner who claimed an interest in land subject to criminal forfeiture. The defendant was convicted of financial crimes whereby he misused funds entrusted to him as a financial advisor to purchase farmland. With the money, the defendant and family members purchased an LLC that owned the farm. When the defendant consented for forfeiture at sentencing, the LLC claimed an interest superior to that of the United States under 21 U.S.C. ยง 853(n)(6)(A) because it acquired the farm several years before the defendant’s crimes caused a property interest to vest in the United States. The Third Circuit agreed with the LLC, finding forfeiture inappropriate under the circumstances.

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