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Diana L. Courson

Paula M. Junghans and Caroline Judge Mehta’s Clients Defeat $79 Million Forfeiture Motion

October 9, 2013

Zuckerman Spaeder LLP attorneys Paula M. Junghans and Caroline Judge Mehta earned an important victory for their clients Brian Hollnagel and BCI Aircraft Leasing, Inc., persuading a court to reject the government’s motion seeking an order that their clients forfeit $79 million as a result of wire fraud convictions in March 2012.

In a 30-page memorandum opinion, the Hon. Amy J. St. Eve of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois concurred with the defense arguments that the government had misconstrued the applicable forfeiture provision, 18 USC s. 981(a)(2)(B), and that, on the facts, the government failed to prove that BCI had forfeitable proceeds from the several aircraft leasing transactions that the government challenged. Judge St. Eve issued her ruling after a three-day hearing in August 2013, in which the Zuckerman Spaeder team challenged the government’s legal analysis, as well as its evidence. Zuckerman Spaeder then presented voluminous evidence to prove position that, in light of the costs incurred in the subject transactions, there were no funds subject to forfeiture. The court ultimately agreed, denying the government’s motion in its entirety. 

Click here to read the complete opinion.

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