1005 N. Marion St.
Tampa, FL 33602
813.250.0500

Jury Instructions for Criminal Forfeiture of Property

According to 6.18.1963 in the section on RICO – Criminal Forfeiture of Property (18 U.S.C.§ 1963), if the indictment contains notice that the government will seek forfeiture of property as part of sentencing in accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 1963, the trial court should give Instruction 6.18.1963 (RICO – Criminal Forfeiture of Property (18 U.S.C.§ 1963).

The jury instruction is given if a party requests a jury determination that the property is subject to forfeiture under Fed. R. Crim. P. 32.2(b)(4),

Reading the jury instructions is a great way to understand the law and the procedures used for these types of determinations.

6.18.1963 RICO – Criminal Forfeiture of Property

The jury instructions for criminal forfeiture of property provide:

[If the indictment contains notice that the government will seek forfeiture of property as part of sentencing in accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 1963 and, if a party requests a jury determination under Fed. R. Crim . P. 32.2(b)(4) that the property is subject to forfeiture, the trial court should instruct the jury regarding this matter at three points during the trial proceedings.

First, when the court instructs the jury at the end of the trial with respect to its deliberations and the trial verdict, the court should alert the jury that:

Depending on the verdict you reach, there may be a brief additional proceeding after you have returned your verdict.

Second, if the jury has returned a guilty verdict, at the outset of the forfeiture proceeding before the jury, the trial court should explain preliminarily the nature and purpose of the forfeiture proceeding that is about to take place, as follows:

You have found (name) guilty of (state the offense(s)), as charged in Count(s) (No.) of the indictment.  You will now need to consider a further question regarding property that the indictment alleges is subject to forfeiture by (name) to the government. 

Forfeiture means that (name) would lose any ownership or interest (he) (she) has or claims to have in the specified property, as a part of the penalty for engaging in criminal activity. 

After the parties have presented any additional evidence on this subject, I will instruct you further on the law with respect to forfeiture. 

In considering whether the property is subject to forfeiture, you should consider the evidence you have already heard and any additional evidence presented by the parties.

You should evaluate that evidence and its credibility as I explained to you earlier in my instructions.

Third, at the end of the forfeiture proceeding, the trial court should give the instruction below.]

You have found (name) guilty of (state the offense(s)), as charged in Count(s) (No.) of the indictment.  You now need to consider a special verdict concerning property that the indictment alleges is subject to forfeiture by (name) to the government. 

Forfeiture means that (name) would lose any ownership or interest (he) (she) has or claims to have in the specified property (any interest in any enterprise) (any security of any enterprise) (any claim against any enterprise) (any property or contractual right of any kind affording a source of influence over any enterprise), as a part of the penalty for engaging in criminal activity. 

I instruct you that you are bound by your previous finding that (name) is guilty of (state the offense(s)).

Under federal law, any person convicted of (state the offense(s)) shall forfeit to the government any property that is, or was derived from, any proceeds which the person obtained, directly or indirectly, from the offense (any interest the person has acquired or maintained as a result of the offense) ((any interest in any enterprise) (any security of any enterprise) (any claim against any enterprise) (any property or contractual right of any kind affording a source of influence over any enterprise) that the person established, operated, controlled, conducted, or participated in the conduct of as part of the offense).

In deciding whether property is subject to forfeiture, you should not concern yourself with or consider whether any other person may own or have an interest in the property. 

I will resolve any such claims.  Similarly, you are not to consider whether the property is presently available.  Your only concern is whether the government has proven the required connection between the property and the offense(s) for which you have found (name) guilty.

Count (no.) allege(s) that (describe the particular property alleged to be subject to forfeiture) (describe the interest (name) acquired or maintained that is alleged to be subject to forfeiture) (describe (name’s) interest in, security of, claim against, property or contractual right affording a source of influence over an enterprise that is alleged to be subject to forfeiture) should be forfeited because of the connection between this property (interest) (security) (claim) (contractual right) and (name’s) commission of  (state offense(s) asserted as the basis for forfeiture).  [Describe as to each count for which there has been a conviction, the specific property (interest) (security) (claim) (contractual right) alleged to be subject to forfeiture].

This property is subject to forfeiture if you find that the government has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the property is, or was derived from, any proceeds (name) obtained, directly or indirectly, as a result of the offense(s) for which you have found (him) (her) guilty.

(This interest is subject to forfeiture if you find that the government has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that (name) acquired or maintained the interest as a result of the offense(s) for which you have found (him) (her) guilty.)

(This (interest in) (security of) (claim against) (property or contractual right affording a source of influence over) an enterprise is subject to forfeiture if you find that the government has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that name (established) (operated) (controlled) (conducted) (participated in the conduct of) the enterprise as part of the offense for which you have found (him) (her) guilty.)

Property is “proceeds” of an offense if the property was obtained directly or indirectly, as a result of the offense.  Property “was derived” from the proceeds of an offense if the property was obtained, directly or indirectly, using money or any other source of wealth gained as a result of the commission of the offense.

In making this determination, you should consider all of the evidence presented on the subject during this proceeding and during the trial, regardless of who offered it.  All of my previous instructions continue to apply, and you should evaluate the evidence and its credibility according to the instructions I gave you earlier.

A Special Verdict Form has been prepared for your use.  With respect to each item of property (interest) (security) (claim) (contractual right), you are asked to decide whether it is subject to forfeiture to the government, based on the reasons I have explained to you.  Your decision must be unanimous.  Indicate on the verdict form whether you find that the property listed is subject to forfeiture, and then the foreperson should sign and date the form.

SPECIAL VERDICT FORM

We, the Jury, return the following Special Verdict as to the defendant (name’s) interest in each item of property alleged in Count(s) (insert count number(s)) to be subject to forfeiture by (name) to the United States: 

(Insert dollar amount in United States currency and description of real property or other tangible or intangible personal property (interest) (security) (claim) (contractual right) as alleged in the indictment.) 

Do you unanimously find by a preponderance of the evidence that this property (interest) (security) (claim) (contractual right) is subject to forfeiture? 

YES ____________ 

NO ____________ 

This ____________ day of ____________, 20_______. 

_____________________________________________ 

Foreperson


This article was last updated on Friday, February 7, 2020.

Contact Form

Free Case Evaluation

Schedule a consultation

Schedule a Consultation
Schedule a Free Consultation at Our Office

Call us to schedule a time to talk with the attorneys in the office or over the phone.

Office: 813.250.0500 Fax: 813.276.1600

Contact Our Office

Contact Our Office
Our Tampa Office

Sammis Law Firm 1005 N. Marion St. Tampa, FL 33602 » Get Directions

Attorneys & Staff

Side Menu