Martov v. United States, No. 18-3424 (7th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Martov participated in a wire fraud scheme in which he collected fraudulently obtained debit card numbers and personal identification numbers and then distributed them to others who used the information to make cash withdrawals from ATMs. The conduct cost the victims approximately $1.2 million. When he was arrested, the government seized Martov’s watch, $4,035 in cash, a car, and nine firearms. In exchange for Martov’s guilty plea under 18 U.S.C. 1343, the government dropped other charges and agreed not to pursue criminal forfeiture. The government initiated administrative forfeiture proceedings, 18 U.S.C. 983, by sending notice to Martov and his attorney. Martov responded to the notice by filing claims for the car and guns. The government denied both claims and declared the property forfeited. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the denial of relief while noting “reservations with the procedural path that the government took in executing the forfeiture.” The government had missed certain statutory deadlines. Martov, who only argued that the seizure was improper and that the forfeiture action violated his plea agreement, failed to advance any meritorious arguments.