Monday, November 8, 2010

Sixth Circuit: And the Diamond Goes to . . . The Gov't

Who gets the "43.51 Carat Modified Rectangular Brilliant Yellow Diamond Internally Flawless with Fancy Intense Grate known as the 'Golden Eye'"? Today, the Sixth Circuit decided, beginning with this summary:
Paul Monea and a coconspirator were convicted of participating in a money-laundering scheme to hide the proceeds of drug trafficking. The district court subsequently granted a preliminary order of forfeiture regarding several items of personal property used in the scheme, including a large diamond that purportedly belonged to Monea. Several parties filed petitions to amend the order of forfeiture on the basis of their alleged ownership interest in the diamond, including the Monea Family Trust I–1999 (the Trust), of which Monea and two of his children were beneficiaries. Holding that the government’s interest in the diamond was superior to that of all of the claimants, the district court denied the various petitions.
The Trust now appeals the district court’s order. For the following reasons, we AFFIRM the judgment of the district court.