Asset Forfeiture Attorneys in the District of Connecticut and the Southern District of New York
The government can seize or freeze your assets and start forfeiture proceedings if it believes you acquired them through illegal activity. The government can also seize your property if it can prove it was an “instrumentality of a crime,” for example, using a car to facilitate a narcotics transaction.
You can contest these proceedings, and in some cases get your property back.
Even if the government has seized your property, it must satisfy certain criteria to gain legal ownership of your assets. If the government seizes your property or “freezes” your assets, they must give you notice and an opportunity to challenge their claimed right to ownership. This is called due process. Attorneys Audrey Felsen and Bruce Koffsky can help you assert your Constitutional due process rights and help you recover your property. At Koffsky & Felsen, LLC, we work closely with our clients to identify why your property was seized and contest these seizures and recover your assets.
Facts about Asset Forfeiture
The federal government often seizes assets as the result of a federal criminal prosecution or conviction. However, government agencies also seize assets from individuals who have not been charged with a crime through civil forfeiture. Regardless of whether you have been charged with a crime, the government can seize your assets if it can prove you got these assets through illegal activity (sometimes referred to as “ill-gotten gains”) or that you used these assets, such as a vehicle, to help facilitate a crime.
The government has to undergo a formal legal process before it can take ownership of seized property. The government has to prove one of two things:
- The property seized was used in, or facilitated, a crime; or
- The property seized was purchased for, or is the product of, illegal activity.
Seizure is not the same as legal ownership. Taking possession of and owning property are two entirely different things. You can challenge the government’s claims before it can take ownership of your private property.
Unless you challenge the government’s claims to your property, you will forfeit your ownership rights and the government will become the legal owner of the seized assets. Attorneys Bruce Koffsky and Audrey Felsen are experienced asset forfeiture attorneys familiar with asset forfeiture laws in Connecticut state courts, the District of Connecticut and the Southern District of New York. We assist our clients in asserting their rights to contest the government’s claim to seized property. Depending on the facts of your case, we may be able to recover all or some of your money or valuable assets.
Know Your Rights
In most cases, assets are seized through administrative forfeiture where the seizing agency takes the asset under the theory that the property or assets seized were used to facilitate a crime or were obtained as the result of a crime. The agency will then notify any person believed to have a legal claim to the property. You must be provided with notice of your rights within 60 days of seizure of your assets.
Just as the government has a strict time period within which to notify you, you also have a deadline by which you must contest the seizure. Pursuant to federal law, you must file a notice of claim within 35 days of the government’s notice of seizure. Your claim must describe the seized property, state your ownership or other interest in the property and be made under oath.
The claim deadlines are strictly enforced. If you receive notice of seizure of assets, or the government has seized your personal property, contact attorney Audrey Felsen or attorney Bruce Koffsky immediately so we can help you assert your rights and preserve and gather evidence relevant to your claim.
How We can Help
Attorneys Bruce Koffsky and Audrey Felsen have experience assisting clients recover seized assets and property in Connecticut state courts, the District of Connecticut and the Southern District of New York. Attorneys Bruce Koffsky and Audrey Felsen will help you obtain and preserve evidence relevant in contesting the government’s claim to seized assets and negotiate or litigate a claim to recover your assets.
We work with our clients to determine the following:
- What property has been seized?
- Who has an ownership interest in the property and how can we establish this?
- Has the property been mixed with other property that may represent ill-gotten gains? (referred to as “commingled funds”)
- What are the origins of the property and how can we establish this?
- Was the property used as part of criminal activity (did it help facilitate a crime, or was it an instrumentality of the offense)?
- If the property represents ill-gotten gains or commingled funds, were you unaware of this activity (are you an “innocent owner”)?
When necessary, attorneys Bruce Koffsky and Audrey Felsen partner with experts to challenge the government’s claims regarding your assets. If you need a private investigator or forensic accountant to help obtain or review documents, we work closely with experts skilled in handling these matters.
The partners at Koffsky & Felsen, LLC can facilitate resolution of your case. While we are able to litigate these matters in court, it may be in your best interest to avoid depositions or production of additional, sensitive documents necessary to substantiate your ownership claims. We discuss these considerations with our clients to determine how to proceed and we work with you to evaluate the best strategy for recovering your assets.
Attorneys Bruce Koffsky and Audrey Felsen can help you recover assets from the government in white collar, fraud and drug offenses. Attorneys Koffsky and Felsen have assisted clients recover items such as:
We develop a plan that best suits your needs and circumstances to recover your assets and protect your rights.
Contact the Law Office of Koffsky & Felsen, LLC today
Consult with experienced asset forfeiture attorneys Bruce Koffsky and Audrey Felsen. The partners at Koffsky & Felsen, LLC can assess your situation and help recover your assets while protecting your rights.