The Department of Justice can seek money restitution from criminals that wrongfully obtain other people’s money. A client sought asset protection advice to protect assets against an already issued restitution order. Asset protection against federal criminal restitution is difficult but not impossible.
Federal criminal restitution supersedes state exemption law, including homestead. My client’s homestead interest was not exempt from the federal judgment. Likewise, his financial assets exempt under Florida law such as annuities are not protected.
However, state property law concepts still apply to federal criminal restitution. My client owned his homestead jointly with his wife as tenants by entireties. Federal restitution does not overcome the immunity of entireties ownership
The Department of Justice filed a restitution lien. A restitution lien does not have the same effect as a tax lien that does supersede homestead and entireties immunity. My client’s homestead is protected, and his other marital assets too are protected, as tenants by entireties assets under Florida law.
Last updated on May 22, 2020