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U.S. Attorney’s Office Seeks Forfeiture of Over $1 Million Allegedly Used to Defraud a Company in Virgin Islands

pexels-pixabay-259027-300x200A civil forfeiture complaint involving $1,047,535 seized by police from a money mule bank has been filed before the court in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, alleged that said money was acquired through a fraudulent transaction called business email compromise scheme, or BEC, made by Boyang Group, Inc. The company that was defrauded of millions of dollars by Boyang Group is reportedly based in the Virgin Islands.

According to Murray, the investigation conducted by the U.S. Secret Service on Boyang Group exposed the sophisticated BEC scam, which often victimizes businesses involved in wire transfer payments. Based on the complaint documents, the scam used social engineering or computer intrusion techniques to trick employees of the victim company to transfer money to a money mule bank account controlled by the scammers.

Police were able to seize the funds in the money mule bank account after the victim company uncovered the alleged scam. If the court favors the civil forfeiture case, police will have the authority to use the seized money for whatever purpose, as provided by the law.

Last year, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office launched a crackdown on money mule activities across states which stopped 2,300 money mules in 92 federal districts.  It was not revealed how many millions of dollars were involved in this crackdown.

Murray noted that U.S. civil asset forfeiture laws allow the police to decisively stop money mule activities and said that the law helped them secure a sizable amount from the stolen funds. Murray reiterated that identifying and seizing ill-gotten money and property would not be easy or possible if not for the civil asset forfeiture law.

A report released by the Institute of Justice (IJ) reveals that, since 2009, the police earned more than $4.6 billion from profits generated from the sale of seized properties. A separate report also revealed that over the past two decades, the federal government has seized $36.5 billion in total assets.

Police have recently faced criticism over the apparent corrupt practices of police in many states in which civil asset forfeiture is made into a lucrative business endeavor. Often, the funds seized under the civil asset forfeiture laws becomes the common fund for the police for other law-enforcement needs, including military equipment, exercise gyms, and any activity or purchase they decide.

Mounting criticism against abuse of civil asset forfeiture laws has put a spotlight on the reported abuses of police in seizing funds and property. This has sparked debates on whether civil asset forfeiture laws have overstepped in giving authorities free rein to make this a fund-generation endeavor.

Critics are demanding the review of the civil asset forfeiture laws, claiming that it is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees that every American is free from being subjected to searches and seizures.

IJ believes that it is time to amend the outdated civil forfeiture law as it poses the greatest threats to property rights today.

Federal Civil Asset Forfeiture Attorney

Have police or seized your property using civil forfeiture? Do you need help getting it back? Contact Brian Silber, P.A. to set up a free initial consultation and work with an experienced civil asset forfeiture attorney. There are no attorney fees in cash seizure cases unless your funds are recovered.

Source: 2.26.21 Civil Complaint Seeking The Forfeiture Of Over $1 Million Seized Used To Defraud A Virgin Islands Business.pdf

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