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DANSER SENTENCING SET ON TICKET FIXING SAN JOSE — A Santa Clara County judge convicted recently on ticket-fixing charges will be sentenced July 26, prosecutors said Monday. Judge William Danser will be sentenced at the old courthouse in downtown San Jose, Deputy District Attorney David Pandori said. Retired Santa Cruz Judge William Kelsay, who presided over the monthlong trial, is expected to sentence Danser. Danser was convicted of felony conspiracy and misdemeanor obstruction of justice for fixing 20 traffic tickets and transferring two drunken driving cases to himself. Prosecutors said many of those cases were transferred from other judges’ courts so Danser could help well-connected friends and impress professional athletes. Danser could face up to three years in prison and $10,000 in fines. He also faces formal proceedings by the Commission on Judicial Performance on July 19. The commission recently suspended Danser without pay. – Justin M. Norton COURT FINDS BROAD DEFINITION FOR FUGITIVE NEW YORK — A law that prevents criminal fugitives from contesting the civil forfeiture of their assets applies to people who have never been in the United States but know that entry into the country will lead to their arrest, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled. Taking its first look at the fugitive disentitlement provision of the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000, the circuit said the plain language of the statute makes it clear that disentitlement “extends beyond common-law fugitives” in Collazos v. United States, 02-6324. Stella Collazos, a Colombian national, had been indicted in the United States for running a multimillion-dollar money laundering operation that federal authorities say was used to hide and funnel drug sale proceeds. A total of $1.1 million was seized by investigators in 1996 from an account in Collazos’ name at Prudential Securities in New York. From outside the country, Collazos sent an attorney to claim the seized money. But Southern District Judge John Sprizzo ruled that Collazos had no claim on the money because she refused to enter the United States to face criminal charges. The ruling was based on the Civil Asset Forfeiture Act of 2000, 28 U.S.C. § 2466. Collazos appealed to the 2nd Circuit, arguing that she was not a fugitive within the common law meaning of the term. She also argued that she was deprived of property without due process. She cited Empire Blue Cross & Blue Shield v. Finkelstein, 111 F.3d 278 (1997), where the 2nd Circuit, quoting Black’s Law Dictionary, said a fugitive is a person who “having committed a crime, flees from” the jurisdiction of the court where the “crime was committed or departs from his usual place of abode and conceals himself within the district.” Collazos claimed she was not in the United States at the time of the alleged money laundering. — New York Law Journal

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