Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Hernandez: Double Jeopardy doesn't preclude both forfeiture and restitution

In U.S. v. Hernandez, No. 15-11202 (Oct. 19, 2015), on a government appeal, the Court reversed the district court’s denial of the government’s civil forfeiture motion. The district court had denied forfeiture on the ground that it had also ordered Hernandez to pay restitution. But the Court noted that the district court not offset the amount of forfeiture by the amount of restitution, because both forfeiture and restitution were statutorily mandated. The Court rejected Hernandez’ argument that Double Jeopardy precluded ordering duplicative restitution and forfeiture. The Court noted that restitution is intended to make victims whole, while forfeiture is intended to punish a defendant by transferring his ill-gotten gains to the Department of Justice. In addition, restitution here was to the Social Security Administration, an entity separate from the Department of Justice.