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Medical Malpractice United States Supreme Court

A Broadening Consensus to Narrow Asset Forfeiture

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in July that the federal government planned to again emphasize the pursuit of civil asset forfeitures, an issue moved to the front burner for health care providers and their advisers: If the federal (or state) government decides to pursue a case against a care provider or medical practice, it can seize the alleged culprit's property, even before conviction.

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Editor’s note: When Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in July that the federal government planned to again emphasize the pursuit of civil asset forfeitures, an issue moved to the front burner for health care providers and their advisers: If the federal (or state) government decides to pursue a case against a care provider or medical practice —€ perhaps for defrauding Medicare or for illegally selling prescriptions for opioid drugs —€ it can seize the alleged culprit’s property, even before conviction. For example, the federal government is authorized under 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(7) to seize assets used to violate the federal Controlled Substances Act, including real estate. The stakes are high, so it’s important to keep informed of the trends in the realm of asset forfeiture.

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