Judge Lemelle delivers a pre-thanksgiving turkey in USA v Titus as the forfeiture is on

Slabbed coulda been a contender on this topic 😉 but I ended up taking several days off last week so I’m happy to see that Manuel Torres picked up the continuing story of the Titus prosecution as he did a great job with it.  The highlights:

Last Wednesday Judge Lemelle granted an unopposed Government request that Titus forfeit certain pieces of property.  But the story is not that simple as these pieces of property are also part of Titus’ marital estate, most acquired well before the looting of Garner Services.  Mr Titus’ wife, Valerie and minor children reside in one of the houses that was forfeited and Mrs Titus’ mother resides in another.  After the plea deal between Titus and the Department of Justice went south, Federal prosecutors claimed in a court filing “that Mark and Valerie Titus, their son and Valerie’s mother had been involved in a “scheme” to block the government’s seizure of the ill-gotten assets.”  I harbor some dubiety that there was a “scheme” at all as Titus was fairly open about what he was doing when the “scheme” was in progress but Sal Perricone was handling the case then.

Now at this point I could regale the Slabbed Nation with my own tales from the criminal forfeiture beat and violate rule 301 but unlike certain high level employees of Jim Letten’s office I do not mix work with blogging. That said I did offer some friendly advice to Team Titus based on my own experiences from back in the day and thus was happy to see the following quote from Valerie Titus’ lawyer Frank DeSalvo in Manuel’s story:

DeSalvo said Valerie Titus is in talks with the government to “try to work something out amicably.” He said she has equity in some of the properties as well as “sweat equity,” since she did much of the labor to renovate the homes so they could be rented out.

“She will be entitled to half or a substantial portion of the properties,” DeSalvo said. “We’re trying to reach an agreement with the government.”

Mark Titus is paying his debt to society and there is no good reason to crush his wife and kids.  I’m thinking where there is a will there is a way forward and hopefully a deal will be cut. Stay tuned.

8 thoughts on “Judge Lemelle delivers a pre-thanksgiving turkey in USA v Titus as the forfeiture is on”

  1. Thanks Doug. DeSalvo sounded like he thought an agreement with the feds is very likely, though it’s also clear that Valerie Titus will be ready to fight it out in court if needed. She clearly wants to avoid that. I didn’t know that her mother occupies one of the properties, is it the one they sold to her?

    1. Yes that is the one. My understanding is she has lived there for quite some time.

      Valerie Titus is a carpenter so DeSalvo’s sweat equity remarks are spot on.

  2. I’m sick and tired of the Monday morning pity party for the family of these criminals. Like Dawn Whitmer, most of these wives not only know what’s going on, they actively participate in deed and/or in bounty. Here’s a comment i picked up on NOLA.com that I hope someone from the Government reads:

    We need more information Mr. Torres. For instance, do the Titus’ share a community property regime. If they do, and have not altered the community estate with subsequent partitions detailing what is separate property, commingled property or community property in origin, then the Mrs. Titus is has no standing to negotiate with the Government. Seize it all ! ”

    13 Hours Ago

    1. You’re assuming facts not in evidence and the comparison to Dawn Whitmer is bogus. That commenter to Manuel’s story that you cite has no understanding of how the federal forfeiture laws apply here.

      1. Well OK … could you tell me, or us for that matter, what effect does the federal forfeiture laws have on a community property regime ?

        And by the way, the comparison of Fazzio’s sister and Titus’ wife to Dawn is valid IMHO; bogus is your opinion.

        1. Wait a minute Whit,
          Having gone from believing Titus had an agreement with those dirty underhanded no good prosecutors to throwing the wife and kids to the wolves, see the dubiety in that? What lacks credibility is Titus and maybe you because you don

        2. The government can’t take her part of the marital estate.

          Mrs Titus’ level of involvement with Garner Services is a matter of fact, not opinion Gate. If you have somethng specific to share on Mrs Titus I’m all ears.

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