United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
AMENDED ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO LIFT
STAY AND TO ENTER AN ORDER TO TRANSFER THE DEFENDANT IN
REM $64, 591.38 [#51]
Honorable Denise Page Hood Judge
Introduction and Factual Background
number 12-20272 (the “criminal case”), Jamella
Al-Jumail was charged, along with 12 other defendants, with
health care fraud. Ms. Al-Jumail was convicted and her
sentence includes, among other things, restitution to the
U.S. Department of Human Services (“HHS”) in the
amount of $589, 516.69. According to the Government, that
entire amount remains outstanding.
conjunction with the criminal case, the Government filed a
Complaint for Forfeiture on October 29, 2012 with respect to
numerous bank accounts, investment accounts, jewelry, gift
cards, and a vehicle (the “defendants in
rem”). No putative claimants filed a verified
claim to any of the defendants in rem, though Ms.
Al-Jumail did file an administrative claim to the FBI on
August 12, 2012 with respect to $64, 591.38 in Comerica
Account #1852602588 in the name of Be Well Home Care, LLC
(“$64, 591.38”), which account she owned.
Attorney Maria P. Mannarino has appeared on behalf of Ms.
Al-Jumail at the proceedings in this matter, as noted below.
March 14, 2016, the Court stayed the proceedings in this
civil case. On July 26, 2016, the Government filed a Motion
to Lift Stay and Enter Order to Transfer $64, 591.38 from
Comerica Account #1852602588 to the Clerk of the Court to be
applied toward the $589, 516.69 in restitution owed by
Defendant Jamella Al-Jumail. No written response to the
Government's motion has been filed.
Court scheduled a hearing on the Government's motion for
November 1, 2016. The Government attorney and Ms. Mannarino,
appearing on behalf of Ms. Al-Jumail, were present. Ms.
Mannarino was Ms. Al-Jumail's attorney in the criminal
case. Ms. Mannarino was not specifically retained by Ms.
Al-Jumail for this matter, but no one had filed an appearance
on behalf of Ms. Al-Jumail and Ms. Al-Jumail remains in
federal custody on the criminal case. On August 18, 2016, the
Court had appointed Ms. Mannarino as CJA Counsel to represent
Ms. Al-Jumail, an interested party. At the November 1, 2016,
hearing Ms. Mannarino advised the Court that Ms. Al-Jumail
had indicated to Ms. Mannarino that Ms. Al-Jumail would be
seeking a civil attorney to represent her regarding this
matter. The Court adjourned the hearing for approximately 90
days to allow Ms. Al-Jumail to obtain such an attorney.
March 1, 2017, the Court held a second hearing regarding the
Government's motion. Ms. Mannarino again appeared on
behalf of Ms. Al-Jumail. Ms. Mannarino advised the Court that
her client (and her client's family) recently informed
Ms. Mannarino that they had obtained “new”
counsel for Ms. Al-Jumail. Ms. Mannarino further advised the
Court that she had contacted the “new” counsel
for Ms. Al-Jumail. The “new” counsel had informed
Ms. Mannarino that he was handling a collateral appeal of Ms.
Al-Jumail's criminal case, but he was not representing
Ms. Al-Jumail with respect to the instant matter. Ms.
Mannarino continued to represent Ms. Al-Jumail at the March
1, 2017, presenting argument in opposition to the
criminal restitution order may be enforced “in
accordance with the practices and procedures for the
enforcement of a civil judgment under Federal law or State
law.” 18 U.S.C. §§ 3613(a), 3613(f). The
Treasury Offset Program, see 31 U.S.C. § 3716,
subjects to offset “all funds payable by the United
States, ” 31 USC § 3701(a)(1), to an individual
who owes delinquent federal debts, unless the payment is
exempted from offset by statute or regulation.
words of the Government, it is “seek[ing] relief which
would essentially reach the same result, but more swiftly and
expediently, as an order to the [United States Marshal
Service] to transfer the funds to the Clerk of the Court to
be applied to Al-Jumail's outstanding criminal
restitution judgment.” The Government argues, and the
Court finds, that there is no dispute that the money Ms.
Al-Jumail owes to HHS is considered a “debt” and
that the United States is authorized to collect on behalf of
the victim. The Government contends, and the Court finds,
that any litigation by Ms. Al-Jumail of her right, title, or
interest in the $64, 591.38 in this forfeiture proceeding
would be a futile expenditure of Government and judicial
end of the case, even if victorious, Ms. Al-Jumail would not
personally recoup the $64, 591.38 because it would be subject
to collection by the United States to be paid toward
restitution owed to HHS:
If a person obligated to provide restitution, or pay a fine,
receives substantial resources from any source, including
inheritance, settlement, or other judgment, during a period
of incarceration, such person shall be required to apply the
value of such resources to any restitution or fine still
18 U.S.C. § 3664(n). In other words, pursuant to 18
U.S.C. § 3664(n), as an incarcerated person obligated to
pay restitution, Ms. Al-Jumail would be required to apply the
value of any judgment in this forfeiture case to her
restitution obligation. In light of Ms. Al-Jumail's
outstanding restitution obligation and the mandatory
provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 3664, the Court concludes that
any attempt by Ms. Al-Jumail ...