SCOTUS on Forfeiture: How the Federal Statute Operates When Two or More Defendants Act as Part of Conspiracy

On June 5th, 2017, in Honeycutt v. United States,1 the United States Supreme Court had the opportunity to take a close look at the forfeiture statute (formally known as the Comprehensive Forfeiture Act of 1984, 21 U. S. C. §853). The federal statute mandates forfeiture of any property constituting, or deriving from, any proceeds the person obtained, directly or indirectly, “as the result of” certain drug crimes. Specifically, the Supreme Court decided how the words “obtain” and “acquired” should be read when two or more defendants act as part of a conspiracy to commit drug crimes. The Court’s analysis, as well as the particular facts of the
case, are helpful when conducting forfeiture investigations and more than one defendant is found guilty.

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