DOJ Agrees to Return Seized Funds to Ping An Bank

Skadden represented Ping An Bank in a civil forfeiture action in which the United States attorney for the District of Minnesota seized more than $12.5 million from the bank’s U.S. correspondent account based on the allegation that the funds constituted property used to facilitate, and derived from, criminal activity of certain of the bank's depositor customers. Skadden convinced the government that Ping An Bank could satisfy the "innocent owner" provisions of 18 U.S.C. Section 981(k)(4)(B)(ii)(II), showing that the bank had fully discharged its obligation to the prior owners of the funds, and the Department of Justice returned the entirety of the seized funds to Ping An Bank's correspondent account, with accrued interest, on January 14.