The US Attorney's Office in Miami has filed its Reply Brief in its appeal of the trial judge's adverse decision denying forfeiture, in US vs. Nidal Ahmed Waked Hatum. Its argument is that the Court failed to follow established case law, and the order should be reversed and remanded.
The issued presented in the brief:
(1) The District Court reversibly erred by refusing to order forfeiture against Waked.
(2) Criminal forfeiture is mandatory.
(3) Waked's dissipation of property subject to forfeiture does not preclude entry of a forfeiture judgment of an equivalent amount.
(4) A forfeiture amount for Waked's money laundering conspiracy cannot be reduced or eliminated merely because Waked had repaid the defrauded bank.
(5) The District court's subsequent misinterpretation of language in the Plea Agreement to forego entry of a forfeiture order against Waked is reversible error.
(6) The Court's alternative finding that the requested forfeiture money judgment would be Constitutionally excessive is erroneous.
We trust that the Eleventh Circuit will follow the law, reverse the trial judge's order, and that it will order a $10m forfeiture judgment entered. Nidal Waked Hatum, already convicted and his short sentence served, is one of the principal partners in Panama's largest money laundering enterprise, serving both Colombia and Mexican cartels. He is already back in Panama, posting photographs of himself and his extended family to the Internet; he needs to learn that there are consequences for violating US money laundering laws.