Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Duboc: Treaty does not create rights for private persons

In U.S. v. Duboc, No. 11-15133 (Sept. 11, 2012), the Court affirmed the amendment of an existing criminal forfeiture order that ordered the forfeiture of two condos in Thailand in 2011, 12 years after the initial order of forfeiture.
The Court rejected Duboc’s argument that the government failed to prove that he used the proceeds of illegal activity to purchase the Thailand condos. Duboc argued that only 2.4% of the proceeds of his drug trafficking involved importation into the United States. The Court stated that even assuming this was accurate, it does not show that the Thailand condos were not purchased with the proceeds of the crimes of conviction.
The Court also rejected Duboc’s statute of limitations argument, ruling that because the properties were outside the United States, the limitations period had not begin to run. The Court also rejected Duboc’s laches argument, pointing out that the forfeiture statute allows amendment "at any time."
The Court also rejected the argument that the delay in the government’s enforcement of its rights against the Thai condos violated Due Process, noting that Duboc made no showing of prejudice. The Court also rejected Duboc’s attempt to rely on the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between Thailand and the United States, holding that this treaty, which involved mutual assistance in law enforcement, did not create rights for private persons.