Senior U.S. District Judge Christopher Boyko has placed a stay, or pause, on the civil forfeiture case targeting assets of Eyton Senders and Justin Balay, whom a U.S. Attorney said run an illegal drug trade operation manufacturing and distributing marijuana vape cartridges.
Senders is listed as an owner of Tibor’s Kosher Meats in University Heights.
In his July 22 order, Boyko wrote, “The court may stay a civil forfeiture action if it determines that civil discovery will adversely affect the ability of the government to conduct a related criminal investigation or prosecution of a related case.”
Boyko wrote that discovery in the civil forfeiture case “could compromise confidential law enforcement information including source information and allow claimants to prematurely and improperly ascertain details of the criminal investigation.”
He noted that no claimants opposed the motion.
Victor Sherman of Victor Sherman PLC in Los Angeles, who represents Balay, previously wrote in a court filing that his client did not oppose the motion.
Senders’ lawyer, Edmund W. Searby of Searby LLP in Pepper Pike, had written that Senders and other claimants “join in respectfully requesting a stay.”
In granting the order, Boyko wrote in the order that assistant U.S. Attorney Henry F. DeBaggis Jr. satisfied the burden “demonstrating a stay is necessary to protect the related criminal investigation.”
In a detailed complaint outlining banking transactions of the operation, including alleged money laundering at Tibor’s, DeBaggis sought to seize homes, watches and a boat following a Sept. 22, 2020, raid on the butcher shop as well as homes in Beachwood, University Heights and Moreland Hills.
Both Searby and Sherman had no comment when contacted by the Cleveland Jewish News Aug. 19.
Thomas P. Weldon, supervisory law enforcement coordinator for the U.S. District Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Ohio, wrote the CJN Aug. 18, “We have no comment at this time.”
This is a developing story. Visit cjn.org for updates.