Research on Red Carpet Inn case

The Houston Case

In 2000, Congress passed the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA). This law sought to limit the ability of US Attorneys to exploit asset forfeiture procedures. A 1998 case in Houston brought to light the need to limit how asset forfeiture laws could be used.


The Houston case involved a “Red Carpet Inn” motel. Research and summarize the Red Carpet Inn case, and answer the following questions:

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  • Did the US Attorney go too far by using asset forfeiture against the motel owner?
  • Was the owner of the motel guilty of a crime? Why or why not?
  • Should the US Attorney have charged the motel owner with a crime, such as conspiracy or as an accessory to the crimes taking place on his property? Why or why not?
  • Given your analysis of the Red Carpet case, what is your opinion of the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act? Was it necessary? Did it achieve its goal?
  • What is your evaluation of the US Attorney in the Red Carpet case? Should he be rewarded for doing his job, or punished for exceeding his authority?

You may complete an Internet research by searching for the terms “asset forfeiture red carpet inn”. You can also use details such as the prosecutor’s name, which you will see in the course textbook.

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