Maintenance and Disposal of Seized and Forfeited Assets
in Selected Western Districts

Report No. 02-07
March 2002
Office of the Inspector General



U.S. Department of Justice
United States Marshals Service

Arlington, VA 22202-4210
January 30, 2002

MEMORANDUM TO: M. Thomas Clark
Regional Audit Manager
San Francisco Audit Office
FROM: signature of Catherine Deoudes
Catherine K. Deoudes
Asset Forfeiture Office
SUBJECT: Response to Audit: U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) Maintenance and Disposal of Seized and Forfeited Assets In Selected Western Districts

This is to follow up our December 11, 2001, meeting on the above referenced audit.

With regard to the negotiable instruments that were found in the Southern District of California, we have reviewed the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) policies and procedures with the district office. We believe that the current policies are sufficient to prevent negotiable instruments from becoming stale-dated and that these were isolated instances. However, the Asset Forfeiture Office will issue a reminder to all districts regarding the procedures, emphasizing the importance for ensuring that appropriate steps are taken so that negotiable instruments do not become stale-dated.

Also, as we discussed at our meeting, some of the USMS Asset Forfeiture Units of our districts are currently using digital cameras to create a photographic record of the condition of seized vehicles. The other districts are using Polaroid and other cameras to photograph seized assets. Our review indicates that approximately half of our districts with the larger inventories have been issued digital cameras. The current policy requires front, back, side and interior photos to document the condition of seized vehicles. As part of the revision of our Personal Property Policy Manual, we will include the requirement of taking a photographic record of the odometer reading with a self-date stamp, whenever possible. This procedure will supplement odometer information on the inspection report that is currently required.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me on (202) 307-9009.