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United States v. Knoll

United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division

April 18, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL A. KNOLL 02, JAMIE A. BOLINGER 10, DAX G. SHEPHARD 43, Defendants, BOB HENSON, J.T. COLLETT, ANTHONY LUPICA, BRIAN SEXTON, ROGER HOLLON, Intervenors.

ENTRY ON PETITIONS FOR RELIEF FROM FORFEITURE

Hon. Tanya Walton Pratt, Judge

This matter is before the Court on several filings related to Intervenors’ petitions for relief from forfeiture relating to the proceedings of Defendants Michael A. Knoll, Jamie A. Bolinger, and Dax G. Shephard. Interested parties Roger Hollon, Bob Henson, J.T. Collett, Anthony P. Lupica, and Brian Sexton have each filed petitions for relief from forfeiture asserting interests in properties that the Government has moved to forfeit and for which that the Court has entered preliminary orders, specifically: 305 North Jefferson Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2202-2204 East New York Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, and 1202 West Main Street, Ft. Wayne, Indiana. The Government has filed motions to dismiss the petitions, as well as Intervenor Roger Hollon’s (“Mr. Hollon”) motion for discovery. The Court makes its rulings below.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Factual History

Michael Knoll (“Mr. Knoll”), Jamie Bolinger (“Mr. Bolinger”), and Dax Shephard (“Mr. Shephard”) were charged along with 48 other persons in a forty-six count Superseding Indictment. As to Mr. Knoll, the Indictment sought the forfeiture of real estate located at 305 North Jefferson Avenue and 2202-2204 East New York Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 1963(a)(1), (a)(2), and (a)(3). Mr. Knoll agreed to the forfeiture in his plea agreement, and the Court accepted the plea and ordered the forfeiture of the named property on July 25, 2013. On August 18, 2013, the Government filed a Motion for Preliminary Order of Forfeiture, which the Court granted on August 19, 2013. The Court ordered the Government to serve notice of its intent to forfeit these properties following the procedure in United States v. James Daniel Goode Real Property, 510 U.S. 43 (1993). On September 13, 2013, the United States Marshals Service complied with the Court’s order.

As to Mr. Shephard, the Indictment sought the forfeiture of real estate located at 1202 West Main Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana, pursuant to pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 1963(a)(1), (a)(2), and (a)(3). Mr. Shephard agreed to the forfeiture in his plea agreement and the Court accepted the plea and ordered the forfeiture of the named property on August 15, 2013. The Government filed a Motion for Preliminary Order of Forfeiture, which the Court granted on August 20, 2013. The Court ordered the Government to serve notice of its intent to forfeit these properties following the procedure in United States v. James Daniel Goode Real Property, 510 U.S. 43 (1993). On October 3, 2013, the United States Marshals Service complied with the Court’s order.

As to Mr. Bolinger, the indictment sought forfeiture of real estate located at 305 North Jefferson Avenue and 2202-2204 East New York Street, Indianapolis, Indiana. Mr. Bolinger agreed to the forfeiture in his plea agreement and the Court accepted the plea and ordered the forfeiture of the named property on January 10, 2014. Also on January 10, 2014, the Government filed a Motion for Forfeiture of Property (Preliminary), which the Court granted on January 13, 2014. The Court ordered the Government to serve notice of its intent to forfeit these properties following the procedure in United States v. James Daniel Goode Real Property, 510 U.S. 43 (1993).

B. Procedural History

On October 11, 2013, Intervenors Bob Henson (“Mr. Henson”) and J.T. Collett (“Mr. Collett”) filed a Petition for Relief from the Preliminary Order of Forfeiture in Mr. Knoll’s case. On October 26, 2013, they filed the same petition in Mr. Shephard’s case. In response, the Government filed motions to dismiss. On January 16, 2014, the Court granted the Government’s motions without prejudice and gave Mr. Henson and Mr. Collett 14 days to file an amended petition. The Court also granted their motion for discovery in those matters. Also on January 16, 2014, Mr. Hollon filed a Motion for Discovery and a Declaration seeking relief from the preliminary order of forfeiture in Mr. Bolinger’s case.

On January 30, 2014, Intervenors Anthony P. Lupica (“Mr. Lupica”), Brian J. Sexton (“Mr. Sexton”), and Mr. Henson filed an Amended Consolidated Refiling (“Amended Petition”) in the cases of Mr. Knoll and Mr. Shephard. This marked the first time Mr. Lupica and Mr. Sexton intervened in this action. On February 6, 2014, the Government moved to dismiss the Amended Petition and the filings by Mr. Hollon.

II. DISCUSSION

The RICO statute provides that any person who violates the RICO statute shall forfeit to the United States any interest in, security of, claim against, or property which the person used to violate 18 U.S.C. § 1962. 18 U.S.C. § 1963(a). It further provides that, “[a]ny person, other than the defendant, asserting a legal interest in property which has been ordered forfeited to the United States” may “petition the court for a hearing to adjudicate the validity of his alleged interest in the property.” 18 U.S.C. § 1963(l)(2). This provision requires that the “petition shall be signed by the petitioner under penalty of perjury and shall set forth the nature and extent of the petitioner’s right, title, or interest in the property, the time and circumstances of the petitioner’s acquisition of the right, title, or interest in the property, any additional facts supporting the petitioner’s claim, and the relief sought.” 18 U.S.C. § 1963(l)(3).

A. Mr. Lupica and Mr. Sexton Have Not Filed Timely Petitions

The Government contends that the Amended Petition filed on behalf of Mr. Henson, Mr. Lupica, and Mr. Sexton must be dismissed because: (1) counsel had not filed appearances for Mr. Lupica and Mr. Sexton before filing the Amended Petition, (2) the Amended Petition was not timely as to Mr. Lupica and Mr. Sexton, and (3) the Amended Petition does not set forth the ...


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