United States District Court, D. Oregon
OPINION AND ORDER
MALCOLM F. MARSH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the United States of America, brings this civil forfeiture
proceeding pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 981 and 984;
and 28 U.S.C. §§ 1345, 1355, 1356, and 1395,
seeking forfeiture of the Defendant real property on the
basis that it constitutes, or is derived from, proceeds
traceable to violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1341 (Mail
Fraud), 18 U.S.C. § 1343 (Wire Fraud), 18 U.S.C. §
1344 (Bank Fraud), and 18 U.S.C. § 1028(a)(7) (Identity
Theft). Pl.'s Compl. (ECF No. 1) at 2. Currently before
the Court is Plaintiffs Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No.
7). For the reasons set forth below, this Court GRANTS
following facts are undisputed. On or about April 23, 2015,
Emmanuel Kazeem purchased the Defendant real property for
$175, 000 under the name E & A Investors, a Maryland
corporation that he formed in 2014 as the incorporator, the
resident agent, and director. Pl.'s Compl., Ex. A (Decl.
of IRS Special Agent Colleen Anderson) at 1, 8. Two weeks
later, on May 7, 2015, Kazeem was indicted in this Court for
Conspiracy to Commit Mail and Wire Fraud, Mail Fraud, Wire
Fraud, and Aggravated Identity Theft. United States v.
indictment charged Kazeem and his co-defendants with
"obtaining stolen personal identifying information of
more than 125, 000 individuals and, beginning at least as
early as the 2012 tax year. . ., using that information to
file fraudulent federal and state tax returns."
Id., Indictment (ECF No. 3) at 1. The indictment
alleged that Kazeem and his co-defendants filed "over
980 false federal tax returns seeking over $6.6 million
dollars in fraudulent refunds," that resulted in
"[t]he actual loss [of more than] $2 million dollars
from tax returns accepted for payment by the Internal Revenue
Service (IRS)." Id. at 1-2.
7, 2015, the trial court issued warrants for the arrest of
Kazeem and his co-defendants. Id., Arrest Warrants
(ECF Nos. 9-13). On May 13, 2015, law enforcement officials
arrested Kazeem's co-defendants but were unable to locate
Kazeem. See id, Executed Arrest Warrants (ECF No.
28, 29, 45, 46). On May 13, 2015, federal officials executed
a search warrant at Kazeem's Maryland residence, but he
was not there. Id., Order Denying Mot. for Release
from Custody (ECF No. 82) at 3. The agents spoke to
Kazeem's roommate and left copies of the warrant.
week later, on May 20, 2015, Kazeem sold the Defendant real
property to Claimant Oluwaseun Ojuade, his sister, for
$10.00. Pl.'s Compl, Ex. A at 8. He also added Claimant
to the deed on his personal residence for $10.00.
Id. The following day, Kazeem flew from Maryland to
Oregon and self-surrendered. Id., see United States v.
Kazeem, l:15-cr-00172-AA, Executed Arrest Warrant (ECF
a citizen of Nigeria, has entered the United States on only
one occasion, from April 16, 2015 to May 5, 2015. Pl.'s
Compl., Ex. A at 9. She departed the United States fifteen
days before Kazeem deeded the property to her. Id.
August 4, 2017, a jury convicted Kazeem of four counts of
wire fraud, five counts of mail fraud, one count of
conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, and nine counts of
aggravated identity theft related to the tax fraud scheme.
United States v. Kazeem, 1:15-cr-00172-AA, Jury
Verdict (ECF No. 217). Kazeem's appeal of his conviction
is pending before the Ninth Circuit. See id, Notice
of Appeal (ECF No. 295).
time Kazeem purchased the Defendant real property, his sole
source of income was the proceeds of the tax fraud scheme for
which he was convicted. In her Declaration, Colleen Anderson,
Special Agent of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal
Investigations, sets forth her uncontested investigative
14. Kazeem's personal 2012, 2013, and 2014 tax returns
show Kazeem reported U.S. domestic income from non-verifiable
sources, but reported no foreign income. Kazeem reported on
his 2012 tax return that he received approximately $22, 455
in net income from Paktims Global, a small schedule C car
business. No. income documents were issued pertaining to the
receipt or disbursement of funds regarding this business.
Kazeem reported on his 2013 and 2014 tax returns that he
earned $85, 632 in 2013 and $98, 601 in 2014 from FBC
Graphics Inc. and attached Forms W-2 from this entity to his
tax returns. Further investigation into the Forms W-2 showed
the entity had not been active for several years and it had
not issued any Forms W-2 or other income documents to Kazeem
or anyone else for the 2013 and 2014 tax years.
15. The investigation found Kazeem provided completely
different income sources and verification documents to U.S.
Immigration Services for tax years 2013 and 2014 than those
provided to the IRS. Kazeem provided U.S. Immigration
Services with a 2013 Form W-2 for $85, 632.32 from Brightway
Limo & Travel Services and an employment letter dated
July 10, 2014 for $65, 432.63 from AGF Global. IRS records
show that these businesses had not issued any W-2 or other
income-related documents during those tax periods to Kazeem
or anyone else.
16. Corporation Commission and IRS Records show Kazeem
registered E&A Investors Corporation in June 2014 with
the State of Maryland and requested an employment
identification number from the IRS for the corporation. IRS
records show that no income documents were received or issued
by E&A Investors Corporation and no tax returns were ever
filed with the IRS under the corporation's name or
employment identification number.
17. Although no legitimate domestic or foreign income sources
were found for Kazeem for the 2012-2015 tax years, Western
Union money transfer control numbers found in Kazeem's
email accounts tied him to over 700 wire transfers for over
$695, 000 in suspected fraudulent tax proceeds during this
same time period. In addition, four GTBank statements found
on Kazeem's iMac computer at his Maryland residence
showed $80, 000 in multiple cash deposits were made to