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Court Can Seize Man's BMW Despite Two-Year Delay, Justices Say

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against a New York man fighting a court order that forced him to forfeit his car and cash long after he was sentenced for a string of violent robberies, Bloomberg Law reports. In a unanimous decision on Wednesday, the Supreme Court said federal trial courts can issue criminal forfeiture orders outside the deadline set in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. “Missing that kind of deadline does not deprive the official of ‘the power to take the action to which the deadline applies,’” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her opinion for the court.


Louis McIntosh, in the case McIntosh v. United States, had argued the government missed its chance to seek $75,000 in addition to his BMW by waiting more than two years to ask the trial court for a forfeiture order. Federal rules require a preliminary order to be issued before sentencing and that didn’t happen because the government didn’t submit one, he said. McIntosh was resentenced on appeal and ordered to forfeit $28,000 along with the BMW.

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