A federal prosecutor in Southern California is asking a judge to give the government title to a $175,000 Lamborghini Murcielago that police took from a man suspected of money laundering.
The 2006 sports car, which is registered to Lamborghini Newport Beach, was confiscated in February 2012 by the Irwindale Police Department whose officers made a traffic stop on the driver and then transferred the car to federal agents, according to court records.
Assistant United States Attorney Frank D. Kortum wants federal Judge Andrew J. Guilford to approve confiscation of the vehicle in an asset forfeiture move because government agents believe it was purchased illegally.
According to Kortum's court filing, after an initial $7,000 down payment, 17 payments were suspiciously deposited in multiple U.S. Bank branches on one day.
Each of the payments was just under the $10,000 IRS reporting threshold and made in Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Downey, Norwalk, Maywood, Northridge, Reseda, Montebello, Van Nuys, Mission Viejo, Panorama City, Granada Hills and Burbank.
To aid law enforcement detection of potential criminal activities, banks are required to notify the government of deposits greater than $10,000, but financial institutions also alert officials when they believe someone is attempting to circumvent the threshold trigger.
Guilford has not scheduled any hearings in the case inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse, but similar cases are often directed to a court-approved alternative dispute resolution panel for resolution.
Nobody has filed an opposition to the asset forfeiture request.
In 2010, earlier versions of the expensive sports vehicle were recalled for a faulty fuel system that increased chances of a fire.
Loaded with a V12 engine, the vehicle reportedly can hit 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds.
Let us know if you see your local federal bureaucrat driving a Lamborghini to lunch in coming weeks.
R. Scott Moxley’s award-winning investigative journalism has touched nerves for two decades. An angry congressman threatened to break Moxley’s knee caps. A dirty sheriff promised his critical reporting was irrelevant and then landed in prison. The U.S. House of Representatives debated his work. Federal prosecutors credited his stories for the arrest of a doctor who sold fake medicine to dying patients. Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.