US v. Liquidators of Euro. Fed'l. Credit Bank, No. 09-10116 - Criminal Law - U.S. Ninth Circuit
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US v. Liquidators of Euro. Fed'l. Credit Bank, No. 09-10116

Appeal by Liquidators of Eurofed Bank

In US v. Liquidators of Euro. Fed'l. Credit Bank, No. 09-10116, an appeal by several persons appointed as "Liquidators" of Eurofed Bank by an Antiguan court to assist in the collection and distribution of Eurofed's assets to its rightful, law-abiding owners, from a forfeiture order in favor of the U.S. government, the court reversed where 1) judicial estoppel barred the government from arguing that Liquidators could not raise their legal claims challenging forfeitability; and 2) a final judgment against the government in a civil forfeiture proceeding acted as res judicata against a criminal forfeiture proceeding with respect to the same property when the claims in the latter proceeding arose from the same transactional nucleus of facts.

 

As the court wrote:  "Defendant Pavel Ivanovich Lazarenko, former prime minister of Ukraine, laundered money from illegal activities through many banks worldwide, including the European Federal Credit Bank ("Eurofed"), located in the sovereign nation of Antigua and Barbuda ("Antigua"). Defendant's activities raised prosecutorial eyebrows in both the United States and Antigua. Antiguan officials ordered the liquidation of Eurofed, and the High Court of Antigua appointed several persons as "Liquidators" of Eurofed to assist in the collection and distribution of Eurofed's assets to its rightful, law-abiding owners."

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