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United States v. Benevento

decided: January 4, 1988.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, APPELLEE,
v.
ERNESTO J. BENEVENTO, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Appeal from a decision of the District Court for the Southern District of New York (Edward Weinfeld, Judge) imposing joint and several liability against a convicted narcotics offender pursuant to the criminal forfeiture provision of Part B of the Comprehensive Forfeiture Act of 1984, 21 U.S.C. § 853 (Supp. III 1985). 663 F. Supp. 1115 (S.D.N.Y. 1987). Affirmed.

Newman and Cardamone, Circuit Judges, and Gray, District Judge.*fn*

Author: Per Curiam

Per Curiam:

Ernesto J. Benevento appeals from a decision of the District Court for the Southern District of New York (Edward Weinfeld, Judge) entered July 15, 1987,*fn1 imposing in personam liability against him for $1,238,000 pursuant to the criminal forfeiture provision of Part B of the Comprehensive Forfeiture Act of 1984, 21 U.S.C. § 853 (Supp. III 1985). The statute provides for the forfeiture by any person convicted of certain narcotics offenses of "any property constituting, or derived from, any proceeds the person obtained, directly or indirectly, as a result of such violation." Id. at § 853(a)(1). The requisite predicate judgment of conviction was entered by Judge Weinfeld on March 27, 1987, after a jury trial, and this Court affirmed (with modification of Benevento's sentence). United States v. Benevento, 836 F.2d 60, slip op. at 597 (2d Cir. 1987).

The issue presented on this appeal is whether the forfeiture provision creates joint and several liability or whether, as Benevento contends, his forfeiture liability is limited to the share of proceeds equivalent to his ownership interest in the criminal enterprise. Judge Weinfeld construed the statute to impose joint and several liability. We agree with Judge Weinfeld's construction of the statute and affirm on the basis of his opinion reported at 663 F. Supp. 1115.

Affirme ...


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