Federal authorities try to seize $12.5M in California assets in corruption case

Federal authorities try to seize $12.5M in California assets in corruption case

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) on Tuesday filed a forfeiture complaint in connection with federal authorities' attempt to seize $12.5 million in Southern California property & assets from a businesswoman who allegedly amassed a big fortune through corrupt practices.

The civil forfeiture complaint filed by the federal agency contends that Janet Lim Napoles purchased the assets for herself and her daughters with stolen money intended to decrease poverty in the Philippines.

The long list of properties and assets that federal authorities are trying to seize includes properties in Covina and Irvine, money from the sale of an L.A. luxury condominium, a Porsche, and a stake in a California-based consultancy firm, and a motel near Disneyland

Confirming the action, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell said in a newly released statement, "The Justice Department will not allow the United States to become a playground for the corrupt or a place to hide and invest stolen riches."

Napoles allegedly bribed Philippine officials to get more than $200 million in funding to fake aid groups for bogus development projects between 2004 and 2012.

In the Philippines, Napoles, her two children as well as many current and former government officials have been charged with corruption in connection with the case that has been nicknamed as the "pork barrel scam" by media outlets.

Napoles, who is currently serving up to forty years in prison in the Philippines after being convicted of illicitly detaining a whistleblower, has pleaded not guilty in the corruption case.

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