U.S. Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, Judge Kovachevich & Magistrate Judge Pizzo
House returned to our client. One defendant agreed to forfeit the property in a written plea agreement but our client, an innocent property owner with clean hands, did not know that the house was being used as a stash house for drugs and guns. Moreover, title to the property had vested to our client before the start of the criminal conspiracy and therefore the claim made by the government that the house was purchased with tainted funds failed. Attorney Tim Bower Rodriguez recognized the deficiencies with the government argument and filed a petition for adjudication of interest. After several months of litigation with the federal government, the United States Attorney Office agreed to return the property to our client.
|USA v. $55,000.00 & JEWELRY||U.S. Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division|
|Case Result:||$55,000.00 and jewelry returned to our client. Federal agents raided a house to arrest one suspect, yet tore up the entire house looking for contraband. Our client, the suspect’s 87-year old uncle, was a Cuban immigrant who had his social security payments direct deposited into a bank and then withdrew the same payment in cash on a monthly basis over a period of decades because he did not trust the banks to keep his money safe. The DEA wrongly assumed that our client’s entire life savings in cash plus his jewelry was drug proceeds and seized it, even though even though it was safely and securely tucked away in his own room nowhere near where the suspect lived within the house. We filed a federal forfeiture claim on our client’s behalf demanding that the federal agents and government return our client’s money and jewelry. The government agreed to return all cash and jewelry seized.|
|USA v. 1973 MAZDA RX3 WAGON, 1987 SUZUKI SAMURAI, MISC. CAR PARTS||U.S. Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division|
|Case Result:||2 cars and valuable car parts returned to our client and his car shop. Federal Customs and Border Patrol Agents raided our client’s car shop and basically “stole” various car parts, an antique car, and a car that actually belonged to a customer, all under the guise that everything in the car shop was acquired with drug money. The federal agents had no proof of this, nor was it true despite one of the federal agents warning us that “it sure would not look good if we contested the seizure.” The government attorney proposed a settlement offer that our client buy back his own property, an offer that we promptly rejected and insisted on our day in court. Ultimately, we filed a forfeiture claim and proved that the items were bought with legitimate proceeds. The government, after backing off threats of litigation and after offering our client the ridiculous “opportunity” to buy back his own legally acquired property, agreed to return our client’s property at no cost.|
NOTE: The above case results are a small sample of results obtained by attorney Tim Bower Rodriguez. Additional case results wherein our law firm obtained not guilty trial verdicts, appellate convictions and sentence reversals, sentence reductions, United States sentencing guidelines downward departures, downward variances pursuant to 18 USC 3553(a), are available upon request.