What were the legal issues in the international forfeiture action brought by the United States Department of Justice against the family of the former President of the Republic of Taiwan?

New York commercial litigation attorney, Jonathan Harris, discusses the legal issues of a case where he assisted the family of a former President of Taiwan against the United States Government.

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Transcript:

We represented the only ______ _______ ______ president of the Republic of China or Taiwan. And at the end of his term, he was arrested and put in jail on corruption charges in Taiwan. And where we got involved is as follows, the US government sought to forfeit some property in the US and the property the US government claimed stemmed from the payment of funds improperly to the former president of Taiwan in Taiwan.
It was a very interesting cases because A) it was very unclear and hotly litigated in Taiwan whether the president of Taiwan had done anything wrong. Secondly, everything had happened in Taiwan. The money that had been received by the president’s family was received in Taiwan. It was paid in cash and it was to the extent it was paid for any reason it was entirely to influence events in Taiwan.

So you had the US government acting like the global policeman saying, hey, we don’t like what happened in Taiwan. Maybe they said that because they were doing a favor internationally or I don’t know why. And so they brought this case in New York trying to seize property in New York and say this is all related to this event that happened in Taiwan. The event could have happened in _______. And so we had a very interesting legal issue where we took the US government just has whatever happened in Taiwan good, bad, or indifferent the US government has no basis being involved in it. It was a very strong position we took. The government opposed it. Eventually the case was settled on terms which we thought were very favorable.