United States v. Nejad, No. 18-30082 (9th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's entry of a personal money judgment against defendant in the amount that corresponds to the proceeds of the offenses for which defendant was convicted. In this case, defendant was convicted of fraudulently obtaining Social Security, Medicaid, and food-stamp benefits.
The panel held that its rationale for allowing district courts to impose personal money judgments remained undisturbed by the reasoning in Honeycutt v. United States, 137 S. Ct. 1626 (2017), which held that 21 U.S.C. 853 does not authorize courts to impose joint and several liability for forfeiture judgments. The panel explained that Honeycutt's holding did not address whether personal money judgments are permissible in the criminal forfeiture context. The panel held that such personal money judgments were necessary to avoid undermining Congress' objectives in enacting mandatory forfeiture sanctions, pointing in particular to the substitute property provision found in section 853(p). The panel noted that Honeycutt does require clarification that personal money judgments must be enforced within the constraints imposed by the applicable criminal forfeiture statutes.