U.S. v. All Funds on Deposit in any Accounts Maintained in Names of Meza or De Castro, No. 073679

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore OAKES, CARDAMONE and ALTIMARI; ALTIMARI
Citation63 F.3d 148
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ALL FUNDS ON DEPOSIT IN ANY ACCOUNTS MAINTAINED IN THE NAMES OF Heriberto Castro MEZA OR Esperanza Rodriquez DE CASTRO and all Funds Traceable Thereto at the National Bank of Greece, in London, England, Including but not Limited to Account, at Midland Bank in London, England, Including but not Limited to Account, at Lloyd's Bank in London England, Including but not Limited to Account Reference, at Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), in London, Including but not Limited to Accountsresdner Bank in London, England Including but not Limited to Accountefendants, Esperanza Rodriquez De Castro, Claimant-Appellant. ocket 94-6179.
Decision Date10 August 1995
Docket NumberNo. 073679,No. 257692,Nos. 03062866 and 01160156 and D,No. 966,Nos. 69350040 and 69358897,No. TSY2D048423,D

Page 148

63 F.3d 148
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ALL FUNDS ON DEPOSIT IN ANY ACCOUNTS MAINTAINED IN THE NAMES
OF Heriberto Castro MEZA OR Esperanza Rodriquez DE CASTRO
and all Funds Traceable Thereto at the National Bank of
Greece, in London, England, Including but not Limited to
Account No. 073679, at Midland Bank in London, England,
Including but not Limited to Account Nos. 69350040 and
69358897, at Lloyd's Bank in London England, Including but
not Limited to Account Reference No. TSY2D048423, at Bank of
Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), in London,
Including but not Limited to Accounts Nos. 03062866 and
01160156 and Dresdner Bank in London, England Including but
not Limited to Account No. 257692, Defendants,
Esperanza Rodriquez De Castro, Claimant-Appellant.
No. 966, Docket 94-6179.
United States Court of Appeals,
Second Circuit.
Argued March 17, 1995.
Decided Aug. 10, 1995.

Page 149

Richard W. Levitt, New York City (Robert I. Targ, South Miami, FL, on the brief), for claimant-appellant.

Jennifer C. Boal, Asst. U.S. Atty., E.D.N.Y., Brooklyn, NY (Zachary W. Carter, U.S. Atty., Deborah B. Zwany, Gary B. Brown, Arthur P. Hui, Asst. U.S. Attys., on the brief), for plaintiff-appellee.

Before OAKES, CARDAMONE and ALTIMARI, Circuit Judges.

ALTIMARI, Circuit Judge:

Claimant-appellant Esperanza Rodriguez De Castro ("claimant") appeals from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Weinstein, J.), granting the government's motion for summary judgment in a civil forfeiture action against funds on deposit in claimant's name in certain bank accounts in London, England (the "funds"). Claimant did not contest that the funds were proceeds of narcotics trafficking or money laundering activities occurring in part in the Eastern District, but did contend that the district court lacked in rem jurisdiction because of the absence of either actual or constructive control of the funds. The district court concluded that it had constructive control of the funds because of the demonstrated cooperation between the United States and the United Kingdom, including the seizure of the funds by British authorities pursuant to a restraining order and a subsequent judicial ruling upholding that order. See United States v. All Funds on Deposit in any Accounts Maintained in the Names of Meza or De Castro, 856 F.Supp. 759, 763 (E.D.N.Y.1994). Because we agree that the district court exercised the required constructive control over the funds, we affirm its judgment.

BACKGROUND

In this civil forfeiture action, federal authorities targeted funds in several bank accounts at various financial institutions in London, England, all in the name of claimant or Heriberto Castro Meza, her late husband. The funds allegedly represented proceeds of an international drug trafficking and money laundering operation spearheaded by Jose Santacruz Londono ("Londono"), claimant's son-in-law and a leader of the Cali Cartel, who is currently a fugitive from justice in the United States believed to be residing in Colombia. Claimant is also a foreign national residing in Colombia. A significant amount of the trafficking and laundering occurred in the Eastern District of New York.

In July 1990, the government, through the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, asked British authorities to restrain the funds based on its anticipated criminal prosecution of Londono and others and its corresponding criminal forfeiture proceeding against the funds in the Eastern District of New York. The government requested seizure of the funds pursuant to (1) the Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Concerning the Investigation of Drug Trafficking Offenses and the Seizure and Forfeiture of Proceeds and Instrumentalities of Drug Trafficking, February 9, 1988, U.S.-U.K., 1989 WL 428726 (Treaty) (the "1988 Treaty"), and (2) the Drug Trafficking Offenses Act of 1986 (Designated Countries and Territories) Order 1990 (the "Drug Trafficking Offenses Act"). The British authorities cooperated and obtained an order dated July 30, 1990, from England's

Page 150

High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, restraining the accounts (the "1990 High Court restraining order").

The United States government continued its efforts to prosecute Londono, but he remained a fugitive. In 1991, extradition arrangements between the United States and Colombia were terminated, rendering the prospect of trying Londono in this country highly unlikely.

On July 16, 1993, the government filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District seeking civil forfeiture of the funds. On the same date, Chief Magistrate Judge Chrein executed an order directing the issuance of an arrest warrant in rem for the funds, which was issued on July 19. On September 8 and 16, 1993, a British constable, at the request of the United States Marshals Service, served the warrant and complaint on the various banks holding the funds, thereby attaching the funds for purposes of this action. At that time, the funds remained subject to the 1990 High Court restraining order.

On November 1, 1993, one month after filing a notice of claim to the funds, claimant moved in the district court to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the district court lacked in rem jurisdiction over the funds. Claimant asserted the district court lacked constructive control over the funds, in part because any forfeited funds would be deposited in the general fund of the United Kingdom. Simultaneously, claimant and her daughter (Londono's former wife) commenced an action in the High Court of Justice, Crown Office Division, seeking to discharge the 1990 High Court restraining order. In that action, claimant argued, among other things, that a restraining order could not continue based on a pending civil in rem forfeiture proceeding. The district court deferred its decision on claimant's motion to dismiss pending resolution of the British action, given that a resolution favorable to claimant might divest the district court of its jurisdiction. While the British action was pending, the district court issued a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction prohibiting claimant from transferring the funds, and further issued an order authorizing the release of $100,000 of the funds to pay for claimant's legal expenses.

On March 18, 1994, the High Court issued a judgment upholding the 1990 High Court restraining order, claimant's appeal from which is currently pending. Shortly thereafter, the district court denied claimant's motion to dismiss and ordered the case to proceed to trial. Subsequently, claimant failed to comply with a court order demanding interrogatory answers and documents, at which time the government moved for summary judgment on the ground that claimant was collaterally estopped by a related action from contesting issues of probable cause or innocent ownership of the funds. Claimant did not oppose the government's motion.

The district court entered a Second Amended Final Judgment on May 25, 1994, granting summary judgment for the government based upon collateral estoppel. See generally United States v. All Funds on Deposit in Any Accounts Maintained at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, 801 F.Supp. 984 (E.D.N.Y.1992) (related action in which funds derived from the same source as funds in this action were deemed proceeds of drug trafficking and money laundering), aff'd sub nom. United States v. Daccarett, 6 F.3d 37 (2d Cir.1993), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 114 S.Ct. 1294, 127 L.Ed.2d...

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17 practice notes
  • United States v. All Assets Listed in Attachment A (In re Rem), Civil No. 1:14-cv-969
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Virginia)
    • February 27, 2015
    ...order for the district court to exercise in rem jurisdiction. See United States v. All Funds on Deposit...in Names of Meza or de Castro, 63 F.3d 148, 152-153 (2d Cir. 1995). But a year later, that court held that the amendments to § 1355 "provide district courts with in rem jurisdiction ove......
  • United States v. Batato, No. 15–1360
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • August 12, 2016
    ...to property outside the United States. United States v. All Funds on Deposit in Any Accounts Maintained in Names of Meza or De Castro, 63 F.3d 148, 152 (2d Cir. 1995). The Meza court read § 1355(b) to make venue proper in cases involving foreign property where the district court had control......
  • United States v. All Assets Listed in Attachment A, Civil No. 1:14–cv–969.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Virginia)
    • February 27, 2015
    ...in order for the district court to exercise in rem jurisdiction. See United States v. All Funds on Deposit in Names of Meza or De Castro, 63 F.3d 148, 152–153 (2d Cir.1995). But a year later, that court held that the amendments to § 1355 “provide district courts with in rem jurisdiction ove......
  • United States v. One Gulfstream G-V Jet Aircraft, Civil Action No. 11–1874 (RC).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • April 19, 2013
    ...claimants cite to the Second Circuit's decision in United States v. All Funds On Deposit in Any Accounts Maintained in the Names of Meza, 63 F.3d 148, 152–53 (2d Cir.1995). But Meza's reasoning was squarely rejected by this Circuit in Banco Espanol. See295 F.3d at 26–27. 7. The government a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • United States v. All Assets Listed in Attachment A (In re Rem), Civil No. 1:14-cv-969
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Virginia)
    • February 27, 2015
    ...order for the district court to exercise in rem jurisdiction. See United States v. All Funds on Deposit...in Names of Meza or de Castro, 63 F.3d 148, 152-153 (2d Cir. 1995). But a year later, that court held that the amendments to § 1355 "provide district courts with in rem jurisdictio......
  • United States v. Batato, No. 15–1360
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • August 12, 2016
    ...to property outside the United States. United States v. All Funds on Deposit in Any Accounts Maintained in Names of Meza or De Castro, 63 F.3d 148, 152 (2d Cir. 1995). The Meza court read § 1355(b) to make venue proper in cases involving foreign property where the district court had control......
  • United States v. All Assets Listed in Attachment A, Civil No. 1:14–cv–969.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Virginia)
    • February 27, 2015
    ...in order for the district court to exercise in rem jurisdiction. See United States v. All Funds on Deposit in Names of Meza or De Castro, 63 F.3d 148, 152–153 (2d Cir.1995). But a year later, that court held that the amendments to § 1355 “provide district courts with in rem jurisdiction ove......
  • United States v. One Gulfstream G-V Jet Aircraft, Civil Action No. 11–1874 (RC).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • April 19, 2013
    ...claimants cite to the Second Circuit's decision in United States v. All Funds On Deposit in Any Accounts Maintained in the Names of Meza, 63 F.3d 148, 152–53 (2d Cir.1995). But Meza's reasoning was squarely rejected by this Circuit in Banco Espanol. See295 F.3d at 26–27. 7. The government a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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