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Blago Attorneys Meet to Discuss Forfeiture

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Blago Attorneys Meet to Discuss Forfeiture
Jack Higgins

Former governor Rod Blagojevich's attorneys have scheduled an in-court meeting with prosecutors on Wednesday to discuss the terms of forfeiture.

If Blagojevich is convicted, he would be subject to forfeiture of up to $438,370 according to his criminal indictment, and the government would move to seize assets, including his home. That process would require a separate proceeding.

Blagojevich can ask for the jury to decide on the terms of the forfeiture, which would require the jurors to receive a separate set of instructions and decide what assets will be seized.  Blagojevich's attorneys have indicated this is their preferred scenario.  

Wednesday's meeting is likely meant to talk about those instructions.

If there is a forfeiture proceeding it will probably happen the day after the verdict and will mean that the jury is not be available for interviews or comment on the main case until after that is over.

Blagojevich could always waive a jury decision on forfeiture.  If he does that and leaves it up to the judge, then the jury will be dismissed.  The attorneys say that could happen, but right now want to keep their options open.

If the governor's team chooses to have Zagel assess the forfeiture, he could very well tell everyone to come back in a week. 

Meanwhile, odds-makers are betting there's an 82 percent chance the former governor will be convicted. The longer the jury remains out, the worse Blagojevich's chances become.
 

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