Court puts property seizure plan on ice

Law of the Land

In the case United States v. Queri, the federal government indicted Joseph Queri on charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering, among other things. The indictment included a forfeiture allegation, seeking to have Queri turn over to the government any property that could be traced to the alleged crimes.

If property directly linked to the crimes was unavailable, the indictment specifies that an apartment complex owned by an LLC in which Queri was an 80 percent member would be forfeited as a substitute.

The United States recorded a lis pendens — a notice of pending action — against the apartment complex, The Bradford, the day after the indictment came down. The lis pendens prevented the LLC from refinancing or renegotiating a mortgage loan secured by The Bradford, causing the mortgage to become past due.