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United States v. $227

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

April 20, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
$227, 463.00 IN UNITED STATES FUNDS SEIZED FROM CITI BANK ACCOUNT NUMBER XXXXXXXX8048 ON BEHALF OF “AXIA FX LTD., ” $235, 900.00 IN UNITED STATES FUNDS SEIZED FROM WELLS FARGO ACCOUNT NUMBERS XXXXXXXX0008 AND XXXXXXXX9425 ON BEHALF OF “AXIA FX LTD., ” $168, 300.00 IN UNITED STATES FUNDS SEIZED FROM JP MORGAN CHASE BANK ACCOUNT NUMBER XXXXXXXX8742 ON BEHALF OF “AXIA FX LTD., ” and $123, 575.00 IN UNITED STATES FUNDS SEIZED FROM NORTHERN TRUST BANK ACCOUNT NUMBER XXXXXXXX0230 ON BEHALF OF “AXIA FX LTD., ” Defendants.

          [PROPOSED] DEFAULT JUDGMENT OF FORFEITURE

          Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge

         THIS MATTER came before the Court on the United States' Motion for Default Judgment of Forfeiture of the above-captioned Defendant Funds. Dkt. # 12.

         On November 10, 2016, the United States filed a Verified Complaint for Forfeiture in Rem, seeking forfeiture of the Defendant Funds. The Complaint alleged that the Defendant Funds are subject to forfeiture pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 981(a)(1)(A) as property involved in the operation, or attempted operation, of an illegal money transmitting business in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1960, or as property traceable to such property.

         On November 10, 2016, the United States filed a Notice of Complaint for Forfeiture in Rem, in which all potentially interested parties were advised to file their claims pursuant to Rule G(5) of the Supplemental Rules of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Notice advised that any interested party-including, as detailed below, Axia FX Ltd. and FX Squared Ltd.-must file a claim with the Clerk of the Court within thirty-five (35) days after the date of service of the Complaint, and to serve their answers to the Complaint within twenty-one (21) days after filing a claim.

         On November 10, 2016, after reviewing the relevant investigative and administrative material for potential claimants, the United States requested foreign service on Axia FX Ltd. (“Axia”) and WeWork c/o FX Squared Ltd. (“FX Squared”) via the Clerk of the Court pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(f)(2)(C)(ii) and Rule G(4)(b).

         On November 18, 2016, foreign service of the Complaint and Notice of Verified Complaint was commenced on Axia and FX Squared via registered mail by the Clerk of the Court. Delivery of such notice to Axia was returned undeliverable to the Clerk of the Court on February 17, 2017. Notice was delivered to FX Squared on November 23, 2016. Therefore, under Rules G(4)(b)(ii)(B) and G(5)(a)(ii)(A), the last day for FX Squared to file a claim was December 28, 2016. More than thirty-five (35) days have elapsed since FX Squared was served with the above-referenced Complaint and Notice. Neither a claim for the Defendant Funds nor an answer to the Complaint have been filed by Axia or FX Squared and the time for doing so has now expired.

         Additionally, pursuant to Rule G(4)(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, notice of the forfeiture action was published on www.forfeiture.gov for thirty (30) consecutive days beginning on November 18, 2016. All interested persons were advised to file their claims to the Defendant Funds, pursuant to Rule G(5) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, with the Clerk of the Court within sixty (60) days after the first date of publication and to serve their answers to the Complaint within twenty-one (21) days after filing a claim. Therefore, under Rule G(5)(a)(ii)(B), the last day for potentially interested parties to file a claim following the online publication was January 17, 2017. More than sixty (60) days have passed since notice of the forfeiture action was published and no claimants have asserted a claim to the Defendant Funds.

         On April 11, 2017, the Clerk of the Court entered an Order of Default against the above-listed Defendant Funds pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(a) and Local Civil Rule 55(a).

         Now, therefore, on motion of the United States for a Default Judgment of Forfeiture pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b)(2), Local Civil Rule 55(b), and Local Admiralty Rule 130(d), it is hereby

         ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED as follows:

         1. This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1345 and 1355.

         2. The following Defendant Funds are hereby forfeited to the United States of America pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 981(a)(1)(A), as property involved in the operation, or attempted operation, of an illegal money transmitting business in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1960, or as property traceable to such property. No right, title, or interest in these Defendant Funds shall exist in any other party:

A. $227, 463.00 in United States funds seized from Citi Bank account number XXXXXXXX8048 on behalf of “Axia FX Ltd., ”
B. $235, 900.00 in United States funds seized from Wells Fargo account numbers XXXXXXXX0008 and XXXXXXXX9425 on behalf ...

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