Judge Finds “No Contemptible Conduct” by Van de Veld In Disputed 30K Legal Fee for Drug Case

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Guam – Attorney Curtis Van de Veld has won a battle in his war to keep the $30-thousand dollars he was paid in January of this year following the drug raid on Gajo’s body shop.

The funds have been the subject of back and forth argument in the Federal District Court for the past 6 months.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karon Johnson has sought forfeiture of those funds arguing that they are proceeds from drug dealings that rightfully belong to the Federal Government.

Read Magistrate Judge Manibusan’s Order

However, an opinion issued today by Magistrate’s Judge Joaquin Manibusan Jr. states that while “there is no dispute that Mr. Van de Veld failed to comply with the court’s June 21st Order directing him to surrender the $30,000 cash to the U.S. Marshals Service or issue a check in said amount …. Mr. Van de Veld states that he could not comply …  because by the time this forfeiture action was initiated, he had spent the funds received from Mr. Gajo … additionally Mr. Van de Veld asserts that he could not comply with the … alternative directive … because he did not have sufficient funds in his account.”

“The United States has not presented the court with any evidence that would contradict Mr. Van de Veld’s claim that he was unable to comply with the Court’s Order.”

Accordingly, the Court finds that Mr. Van de Veld lacked the ability to comply with the court’s Order. Therefore the Court will not hold Mr. Van de Veld in contempt.”

The order was announced today [Monday] during a scheduling conference on the issue.

The scheduling conference was “put in abeyance” until the Judge Assigned to hear the case, Hawaii District Court Judge David A. Ezra, has ruled on the other “jurisdictional issues” relating to the forfeiture case.