Enrico Schaefer - May 28, 2020 - Complex Litigation
The United States Department of Justice filed an action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan requesting the court order forfeiture of any and all cryptocurrency or other digital assets contained in virtual currency wallets residing on the Dell PowerEdge Server, serial number JNFHSW1, previously controlled by the unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange Coingather.
Our attorneys are representing clients who are objecting to forfeiture seeking a return of their cryptocurrency (Bitcoin and other crypto). The notice you should have received from the Department of Justice should look like this:
EMAIL FROM US DEP. of JUSTICE –
The attached documents are being served on you pursuant to Rule G(4) of the Supplemental Rules for Certain Admiralty and Maritime Claims because you may have an interest in cryptocurrency or other digital assets contained in virtual currency wallets accessible through the “CoinGather” cryptocurrency exchange, previously available online at www.coingather.com. If you were a registered CoinGather user with cryptocurrency in a CoinGather wallet on November 21, 2017, you may have a valid claim.
As part of a criminal investigation into CoinGather as an alleged unlicensed money transmitting business, the FBI seized a computer server containing cryptocurrency and other digital currency in virtual currency wallets. On the basis of the criminal investigation, the United States has filed a Civil Forfeiture Complaint against the server and its contents. A copy of the Complaint is attached, as well as a copy of the Warrant of Arrest, Notice in rem, which includes the following notice to potential claimants of the procedure for filing a claim asserting an interest in the defendant property in the civil forfeiture case:
1. Please be advised that if you want to become a claimant in this action, you must file a claim within forty five (45) days after the date this notice was emailed to you; and an answer to the Complaint for Forfeiture, or Rule 12 motion, within twenty-one (21) days after the filing of your claim.
See Supplemental Rule G(5), which provides:
(a)(i) A person who asserts an interest in the defendant property may contest the forfeiture by filing a claim in the court where the action is pending. The claim must:
(A) identify the specific property claimed;
(B) identify the claimant and state the claimant’s interest in the property;
(C) be signed by the claimant under penalty of perjury; and
(D) be served on the government attorney designated herein.
2. An original and one copy of your claim, answer or Rule 12 motion must be filed with:
Clerk of the CourtEMAIL FROM US DEP. of JUSTICE
United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Michigan
Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse
231 W. Lafayette Blvd., Room 599
Detroit, MI 48226
Wallets storing cyrpto on Coingather are now subject to forfeiture. This means your currency will be taken by the United States government and forfeited to the United States government if you do not object within 45 days of receiving your notice of forfeiture from the Department of Justice. were a registered CoinGather user with cryptocurrency in a CoinGather wallet on November 21, 2017, you may have a valid claim. To view a copy of the Complaint for Forfeiture, please click here.
The Coingather.com domain was seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation under the authority of 18 U.S.C. §§ 981, 982, and 1960 upon a probable cause finding by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio that the Coingather domain was used, or was intended to be used, to commit or facilitate criminal violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1960 (Prohibition of unlicensed money transmitting businesses).
If you wish to make a claim to any of the property subject to this forfeiture action, you must follow the procedures set forth in Warrant of Arrest and Notice in Rem. Please contact us and we can let you know what to do next.