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Guide to Equitable Sharing of Federally Forfeited Property for State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies

NCJ Number
Date Published
29 pages

This guide describes the purposes and implementation of the U.S. Department Justice's Forfeiture Program, including the equitable sharing of Federal forfeiture proceeds with State and local law enforcement agencies.


The primary purpose of the U.S. Department Justice's Forfeiture Program is to deter crime by depriving criminals of the profits and proceeds of their illegal activities and to weaken criminal enterprises by removing the instrumentalities of crime. An ancillary purpose of the Program is to enhance cooperation among Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies through the equitable sharing of Federal forfeiture proceeds. Any State or local law enforcement agency that directly participates in an investigation or prosecution that results in a Federal forfeiture may request an equitable share of the net proceeds of the forfeiture. This guide notes the minimum monetary thresholds for various types of forfeitures as well as how property is federally forfeited through administrative forfeiture and judicial forfeiture. Information is provided on how to apply for an equitable share of a forfeiture and how to calculate the sharing percentage. Other topics reviewed are the uses of equitably shared property; accounting for shared cash, proceeds, and tangible property; the certification requirement; sanctions for noncompliance with the policies specified in this guide; and the effective date of this guide (resource is updated routinely). Appended forms, case examples, sample bookkeeping procedure, compliance requirements and audit procedures, relevant statutes, and the National Code of Professional Conduct for Asset Forfeiture.