Indiana State Police Receives $357,000 in Asset Forfeiture Funds
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 22, 2010|
INDIANAPOLIS—Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney; Kerry Forestal, United States Marshal; and Michael Welch, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), today presented Paul Whitesell, Superintendent of the Indiana State Police, with a check in the amount of $357,000 in asset forfeiture funds.
The forfeited funds are the result of the case of United States v. Gary Crowe. Crowe was recently convicted of mail fraud in a case handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven DeBrota. Crowe overcharged the town of Clarksville, Ind., for gasoline and diesel fuel that he supplied to the town through his company, Jubilee Oil. The subject funds, totaling approximately $446,000, were forfeited as proceeds of the fraud scheme.
Under the rules of Federal Equitable Sharing Program, assets forfeited in federal cases can be shared with state and local law enforcement agencies that have played a significant role in any particular case. In this case, the Indiana State Police Department was the lead investigative agency, and requested an 80% share of the forfeited funds, which is the most allowed under the sharing program.
"Law enforcement is the principal objective of forfeiture. This goal is carried out first by depriving criminals of both the gains from their criminal activity and second, by making use of the forfeited property to support further investigations, seizures, forfeitures, and to compensate innocent parties affected by the criminal activity," said Hogsett. "The people of Indiana can be confident that the United States Attorney's Office is honestly and effectively using the forfeiture of assets strictly as a tool to punish and deter crime."
SAC Michael S. Welch stated, "Asset forfeiture serves as a valuable deterrent to criminal conduct depriving wrongdoers of their ill-gotten gains."
"The asset forfeiture responsibilities of the United States Marshal Service provide a significant opportunity to work together with our federal and state partners to impact the cost of crime within our community against those who attempt to be criminal profiteers," stated Forestal.
Superintendent Whitesell said, "The Indiana State Police is very appreciative of U.S. Attorney Hogsett and the FBI for granting the release of these funds. In an era of tightened budgets and priority spending, such monies are most welcome. The State Police values its partnership with federal agencies and we look forward to similar success in future joint endeavors".
Because this forfeiture was ordered as part of the sentence imposed in a criminal case, this is a "judicial forfeiture" matter, as opposed to an "administrative forfeiture" matter, which occurs when property is seized and forfeited entirely by a federal investigative agency. In a judicial forfeiture matter, the United States Attorney has the final decision making authority on requests for equitable sharing.
Before reaching the U.S. attorney, sharing requests pass through two levels of review within the federal investigative agency. In this case, both the FBI field pffice in Indianapolis, and FBI Headquarters in Washington have approved the 80 percent sharing request by the State Police.