Published on: Sunday, June 26, 2022

Husband and wife run an international illicit cigarette business, selling them tax free to customers and depriving local, state, federal govenments of millions of tax revenue. They're convicted and sentenced to 10 and 5 years respectively, and they are ordered to forfeit tens of millions of dollars to the government. But wait! The forfeiture order was not included in their sentence. Even though the government asked for it, the district court failed to include it—and didn't tack it on until after they unsuccessfully appealed their convictions and money judgment-less sentence. Sixth Circuit: “Once a criminal sentence is imposed, the judgment is final, both as to what it includes and what it lacks.” So they don't have to pay it.

The case is United States v. Maddux, No. 20-5972 (6th Cir. June 22, 2022).