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Civil Forfeiture

BEGINNING IN EARLY 1980s, governments and law enforcement agencies in the United States and abroad placed ever-increasing emphasis on targeting the fruits of organized criminal activity. The culmination of this enforcement approach is the seizure and forfeiture of money and other assets derived from criminal activity.

An underlying tenet of proceeds of crime enforcement as a punitive strategy is that the resulting penalties not only encompass the forfeiture of cash and other assets, but fines and criminal sentences may also ensue. An added benefit of this enforcement approach is that it can remove the financial power base that funds the operations of criminal organizations.

In most countries, asset forfeiture is pursued through the criminal courts. For a conviction, countries relying on the English common law systems require ...

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