Criminal forfeitures in cockfighting bust: FALL V. COM. (COA 1/25/08)

FALL V. COM.
CRIMINAL:  FORFEITURES
2007-CA-000885
PUBLISHED: AFFIRMING
PANEL:  WINE PRESIDING; KELLER, THOMPSON CONCUR
COUNTY: MONTGOMERY
DATE RENDERED: 1/25/2008

CA affirmed TC’s order forfeiting money seized from cockfighting bust. Because the 27 appellants failed to establish that they were innocent owners of the $171,000.00, the trial court properly ordered the forfeiture of the funds to the state. KRS 500.090(2) authorizes the forfeiture of money which has been obtained or conferred in violation of any criminal statute. However, KRS 500.090(4) directs a trial court to “remit the forfeiture of property when the lawful claimant: (a) Asserts his . . . claim before disposition of the property pursuant to this section; (b) Establishes his . . . legal interest in the property; and (c) Establishes that the unlawful use of the property was without his . . . knowledge and consent.”

Note: This editor was stunned to learn that cockfighting events attracting over 500 spectators and $425,000 in wagers take place in Kentucky. Michael Vick would be proud.

Digested by Scott C. Byrd
Olgin and Byrd

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