Bowdoin, Prosecutors Clash Anew In August 2008 Forfeiture Case; Dispute May Explain Government’s Announcement Last Week That Separate Case Could Be Delayed For ‘Several Months’
UPDATED 2:03 P.M. ET (U.S.A.) Two attorneys for AdSurfDaily President Andy Bowdoin are asking a federal judge to vacate orders she issued granting a default judgment to the government and granting a final order of forfeiture to tens of millions of dollars and a home seized in the case.
Attorneys Charles A. Murray and Michael R.N. McDonnell assert that U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer issued the orders granting the judgment and forfeiture in error — before Bowdoin’s legal remedies were exhausted in the August 2008 civil-forfeiture case against ASD-connected assets.
Although Bowdoin’s defense counsel asserted the government did not oppose the motions, prosecutors fired back with a motion to clarify their point of view, suggesting they did not want anyone to get the impression that they believed Bowdoin’s new arguments had merit.
Collyer issued the judgment and forfeiture order Jan. 4, Bowdoin’s counsel argued. The order was entered into the record Jan. 6, 57 days after Collyer issued an order in November that denied Bowdoin’s bid to reassert claims to money he forfeited to the government in January 2009.
Bowdoin still had three days remaining to challenge Collyer’s November ruling when the final judgment and forfeiture order were entered Jan. 6, Bowdoin’s counsel argued, asserting that Collyer had entered the judgment and forfeiture order “erroneously” and prejudiced their client.
A decision by Collyer not to vacate the orders would result in a “manifest injustice” to Bowdoin, his attorneys argued.
Bowdoin may turn to the U.S. Court of Appeals for a remedy, his attorneys said. They argued that “intervening circumstances beyond [Bowdoin's] control” had affected the outcome of the case, suggesting that a clerical error of some sort had prejudiced their client.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Deborah L. Connor and Barry Wiegand said Collyer’s issuance of the default and forfeiture orders was legally sound.
“[T]he United States will contest in every Court at any level any challenge to any of these rulings as error,” Connor and Wiegand said.
Prosecutors said the governmentÂ had spoken with Murray and related to him that it did not oppose providing Bowdoin time to argue his motions. But Connor and Wiegand said the government wanted to make its position “clear” that it did not believe Collyer had erred.
“The Court’s rulings and issuance of a default judgment and final order or forfeiture were correct in law and fully justified by [the] case’s posture when [Collyer] ruled,” the prosecutors said.
They added that they intended to file a supplemental brief. How the case would proceed was not immediately clear.
Prosecutors said last week that there might be a delay of “several months” before final adjudication of a separate forfeiture case brought against ASD-connected assets in December 2008. Bowdoin’s new filings in the August 2008 case suggest both cases could be delayed.