All Posts feature News Tech

Forfeiture Games | The Aging Rebel

Forfeiture Games

The USA authorities, particularly an Assistant United States Lawyer in Los Angeles named Steven R. Welk, continues to try to torture the rule of regulation generally and the Mongols Motorbike Membership generally.

Welk is the esteemed Chief of the Asset Forfeiture Part for the judicial Central District of California which incorporates San Luis Obispo. Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and Orange Counties: Every part, excluding San Diego, that most individuals in all of the world consider as Southern California; the locations where Ross MacDonald set his world weary mysteries. It’s a disgrace MacDonald by no means met Welk. It might be fun to read his descriptions. Welk is particular. He’s what Paulie Cicero  in Goodfellas would call “an earner.”

There’s some huge cash out here on the fault line. Final yr, in line with a mass-mailed press release dated March 19, Welk shook $317,453,521 out of people’s pockets. Savor that quantity.

Oh Boy!

“Final yr’s collections additionally embrace over $235 million value of belongings forfeited to the USA for crimes dedicated both here and overseas, including more than $100 million recovered as a part of the continued 1MDB international kleptocracy investigation.” the release explains. “Prosecutors within the Asset Forfeiture Section additionally collected hundreds of thousands of dollars – including cash, numerous high-end and collectible automobiles, and residential properties – from a parking zone operator who defrauded the Veterans Administration. Forfeited belongings – cash and the proceeds of property that shall be bought – are deposited into the Division of Justice Asset Forfeiture Fund, and that money is used to compensate crime victims and fund quite a lot of regulation enforcement actions, including federal process forces and schooling initiatives.”

Oh boy! Extra activity forces!

The bottom line is that Welk gets to do absolutely anything he needs. And yesterday he filed a document with Decide David O. Carter’s courtroom titled GOVERNMENT’S SECOND AMENDED APPLICATION FOR PRELIMINARY ORDER OF FORFEITURE AGAINST DEFENDANT MONGOL NATION (COLLECTIVE MEMBERSHIP MARKS ONLY). Identical to that. All capital letters.

What?

Briefly, what this is all about, is Welk’s decade-long, ever evolving crusade to strip the Mongols Motorbike Club of ownership of its insignia – the identify and cartoonish emblem they use to inform the world – America, Mexico, Europe, Australia, Asia – who they’re. There have been three courtroom instances to date and Welk has lost all of them but he still thinks he can diminish the Mongols and, by extension, all motorbike clubs by diminishing their symbols. He thinks he can. He thinks he can so he keeps making an attempt. The newest permutation of this stressed fiasco is known as United States versus Mongol Nation.

You don’t need to hear but I am going to inform you anyway.

Each Rico case should have a RICO enterprise and a RICO individual. The RICO enterprise is one thing just like the Gambino Household or the so-called Merlino Felony Enterprise. And the RICO individual is any person like Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano. At the very least, it works like that in a world that has not been driven mad by pettifoggers.

However in this instance the RICO enterprise is the Mongols Motorbike Membership and the RICO individual is “Mongol Nation.” You already know like the RICO enterprise could be the Lakers after which the RICO individual can be Laker Nation.

My Dog, My Sandwich

In December, a jury of misled layman decided there’s a “distinctive” difference between the two names; that Mongol Nation is an actual thing, not an abstraction; that it’s responsible of crimes for which actual, other individuals have previously been convicted; and that the easiest way to punish Mongol Nation is to take the Mongols Motorbike Club’s patches away from the club’s members.

You’re proper. That’s silly and unconstitutional. My canine knew that right off. Once I advised my dog about this she went “Rarf, rarf, harf, har, har, har. Arf roof, keefing me? Tharks the tuperdest farking fing hever! Now give me your sandwich.”

The jury was dumber than my canine. That’s how the regulation works. That’s the key to most prosecutors’ success.”

The decide, then again, might even be smarter than my dog. In January, Decide Carter stated that stealing the Mongols insignia violated the Mongols Motorbike Membership members’ constitutional rights.

By no means Say Die

Then got here yesterday’s 28-page refusal by Welk to take no for a solution.

Here. You work this out.

“By this software, the government requests that the Courtroom enter the proposed Preliminary Order of Forfeiture (Collective Membership Marks) (“POF(Marks)”) lodged contemporaneously herewith, towards defendant Mongol Nation (“Defendant”), previous to the sentencing hearing scheduled for Might 17, 2019, pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 32.2 (“Rule 32.2”); 18 U.S.C. § 1963; the responsible verdict entered towards Defendant on December 13, 2018 on Counts One and Two of the First Superseding Indictment (“FSI”); and the jury’s Particular Verdict re Forfeiture towards Defendant, entered on January 11, 2019. This is the government’s third request for a preliminary order of forfeiture (“POF”) in this case, but solely the second such request referring to the three collective membership marks discovered by the jury to be subject to forfeiture.1 The second and on the spot requests comply with the Courtroom’s granting partially and denial in part of the federal government’s first such request (DN 354) in an order of February 28, 2019. DN 389 (the “February 28 Order”)

“The proposed POF(Marks) is narrowly tailor-made to carry into effect the obligatory forfeiture required by 18 U.S.C. § 1963 and the jury’s forfeiture verdict, while accommodating considerations articulated in the February 28 Order. The proposed order limits the forfeiture of Defendant’s rights and interests in the Marks to the very particular statutory and customary regulation rights that grant Defendant the power to exercise and implement unique use of and management over the Marks. The POF(Marks) locations no restraints or limitations on the display or use of the Marks by Defendant or its individual members. The effect of the POF(Marks), if entered, will merely extinguish Defendant’s statutory and customary regulation rights to stop others from utilizing or displaying the Marks by means of authorized process.

“The entry of the proposed POF(Marks) is requested pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1963(a) and (e), and Rule 32.2(b)(2)(A). This software is supported by Defendant’s conviction, the jury’s findings within the Particular Verdict re Forfeiture that the Marks are subject to forfeiture, the matters set forth within the accompanying Memorandum of Factors and Authorities, and any argument the Courtroom might entertain in any hearing on this software.”

“In its first software (DN 354), the government sought a preliminary order of forfeiture relevant to any and all rights and pursuits associated with or appurtenant to 3 collective membership marks recognized herein and within the POF(Marks) as the ‘Word Mark,’ the ‘Middle Patch Image,’ and the ‘Mixed Mark’ (collectively, the “Marks”). In its February 28 Order, this Courtroom found that the forfeiture requested by the federal government would violate the First and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution.

“This amended request is designed to mitigate these constitutional considerations. Particularly, it’s calculated to keep away from any restriction or limitation on the rights of Defendant or its particular person members to precise their views or beliefs, or associate freely, as guaranteed by the First Modification to america Constitution. At the similar time, the forfeiture requested here will deny Defendant the statutory and customary regulation protections afforded to holders of collective membership marks who haven’t been convicted of using their marks in furtherance of a legal racketeering offense. If the proposed POF(Marks) is entered, Defendant and its individual members will proceed to take pleasure in their right to make use of and show the Marks in no matter lawful method they choose, but will forfeit the privilege of being allowed to invoke the legal guidelines and judicial authority of america to stop others from using and displaying the Marks. That is: they’ll lose only the legally enforceable rights conferred to them as holders of intellectual property. The federal government will seize no tangible property, nevertheless, and Defendant’s rights of expression can be unaffected.

“Neither Defendant, in its opposition to the government’s unique software for preliminary order of forfeiture (DN 362), nor the Courtroom, in its February 28 Order, prompt that the federal government had failed to determine the forfeitability of the Marks pursuant to Rule 32.2 or § 1963. Indeed, this Courtroom’s March 29 entry of the POF (Tangible Property), without objection from Defendant, confirms that the government established its entitlement to the forfeiture ordered by the jury on statutory grounds. For the reasons defined under, the narrowly tailor-made forfeiture order requested by this software serves the necessary government pursuits sought to be secured by Congress in enacting the legal forfeiture provisions of § 1963, whereas defending the First and Eighth Modification rights of Defendant and its particular person members within the continued use and show of the Marks, and must be entered as a part of Defendant’s sentence.”

Who Is aware of

It isn’t clear what will occur on Might 17. All through most the Mongol Nation case, the membership has been represented by Century City lawyer Joseph Yanny. Final month, after Carter denied Welk’s final movement for forfeiture, Mongols Club Council Stephen P. “Bowtie” Stubbs sent Yanny a notice of his termination from the case. Attempts to succeed in Yanny by telephone at the moment have been unsuccessful.

Additionally it is not immediately apparent what Welk hopes to perform by gaining authorized ownership of the Mongols’ marks. The objective all along has been to enable police to “rip the patches” off members backs. But Welk in all probability has one thing in mind. And this can be a man who earned his judicial district more than $300 million final yr. So he can in all probability play this anyway he needs.

 

Share