Prosecutors asked a judge on Friday to order ex-mobster James “Whitey” Bulger to forfeit more than $25 million, allowing them to seize all of his assets that he generated by racketeering and other crimes he committed during his years as a mob boss, including any future profits he might make.
Evidence shown during Bulger’s eight-week trial indicated that he brought in about $25.1 million from drug dealers, businessmen and property, according to a motion filed by prosecutors in the U.S. District Court in Boston.
“Accordingly, based on the evidence and testimony presented at trial and the Jury’s August 12, 2013 verdict as to the Defendant, the United States is entitled to an Order of Forfeiture … against the Defendant, in the amount of $25,162,800,” the motion stated. “This amount represents proceeds of, and interests acquired and maintained as a result of, the Defendant’s racketeering conspiracy.”
Bulger, 84, was convicted of 31 of the 32 counts against him including racketeering, extortion and money laundering during his time as mob boss of the Winter Hill Gang in South Boston during the 1970s and 1980s, as reported by The Daily Free Press onAug. 12. Jurors found him guilty in 11 of the 19 murders he allegedly participated in.
“The Defendant’s racketeering conspiracy spanned decades. … The evidence at trial established, and counsel for the Defendant submitted to the jury, that the interests acquired and maintained … totaled ‘millions upon millions upon millions of dollars,’” the motion stated.
In the motion, prosecutors included a chart that detailed many of the extortions that witnesses testified about during the trial. Bulger made more than $20 million in weekly earnings in the 1980s from a cocaine trafficking ring, according to the motion.
During opening and closing statements, Bulger’s lawyer, J.W. Carney Jr., conceded that Bulger raked in millions from the drug trade.
Bulger was captured in June 2011 after being on the run for more than 16 years — one of the longest manhunts in U.S. history. He was caught hiding in an apartment in Santa Monica, Calif. with his girlfriend Catherine Greig. The Federal Bureau of Investigation seized about $822,000 in cash and about 30 guns that were hidden in the walls of the apartment.
Prosecutors told U.S. District Judge Denise Capser, who presided over Bulger’s trial, that they want to split the money among the families of Bulger’s victims.
“The government’s intention is to distribute the forfeited funds to the victims’ families,” said Christina DiIorio-Sterling, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in a Friday statement.
Once a forfeiture order is entered against Bulger, the government could question people under oath, and ask if they know of any other locations where Bulger could have stashed money or other assets, according to the motion.
“The United States may also, … ‘conduct any discovery the court considers proper in identifying, locating or disposing of the property’ that has been forfeited to the United States,” the motion stated. “Such discovery may include the taking of depositions of witnesses.”
After his arrest, Bulger claimed that he couldn’t afford a lawyer because the government seized all of his money. He was appointed a team of lawyers at the expense of taxpayers. On Sept. 13, the court revealed that Bulger’s defense bill was more than $2.6 million between June 2011, when he was captured, and June 2013. That cost did not include the rate of his lawyers from July and August during his trials.
“He might need a payment plan,” Carney said in an email.
Bulger is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 13 and Nov. 14.