Cover: Understanding Forfeitures

Understanding Forfeitures

An Analysis of the Relationship Between Case Details and Forfeiture Among TEOAF High-Forfeiture and Major Cases

Published Mar 18, 2009

by Amy Richardson, Noreen Clancy

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The Treasury Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture (TEOAF) administers the Treasury Forfeiture Fund (TFF), which is the receipt account for the deposits of nontax forfeitures that result from law-enforcement actions against criminal enterprises, such as drug cartels, terrorist organizations, and individual embezzlers, by agencies that are currently, or were historically, part of the U.S. Treasury — the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation division, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the U.S. Secret Service. High levels of forfeiture from the prosecution of these crimes serve to punish the individuals involved, help to dismantle the operations associated with the crime, may deter others from engaging in similar crimes, and provide funds to support future investigations among participating agencies. TEOAF commissioned the RAND Corporation to examine the relationship between targeted funding support of significant financial investigations and the forfeiture outcomes of such investigations. This report presents the findings of that analysis.

This research was sponsored by the Treasury Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture and was conducted under the auspices of the Safety and Justice Program within RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment (ISE).

This report is part of the RAND technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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