The father of former Casper Dr. Shakeel Kahn won’t get any of the $675,000 or other property seized during his son’s multi-state prescription drug conspiracy, according to a federal judge’s ruling Tuesday.
Rahim Khan, a Canadian citizen, filed a petition in U.S. District Court in September saying Shakeel was holding $675,000 of his cash for safekeeping or had used it to buy residences and vehicles.
But Wyoming Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hambrick responded that Rahim Khan had little to no evidence for that. “R. Khan cannot show that any money of his was used to purchase the vehicles and houses, all he has is speculation.”
On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson agreed.
Rahim Khan’s petition marked the most recent twist in the long-running case of Shakeel Kahn, who was convicted in May on 21 counts related to the conspiracy and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. His brother Nabeel was sentenced to 15 years one month imprisonment for his role in the conspiracy. Both have appealed to the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
During the investigation that began nearly four years ago, law enforcement agencies seized one house in Casper and two in Fort Mohave County, Ariz.; $1,048,000 in cash in one of the houses in Arizona; more than $100,000 from bank accounts; vehicles including a Chevrolet Corvette and a Ford Mustang; dozens of weapons and other property. Of the cash, $580,000 was returned the Shakeel and his wife Lyn.
The Wyoming U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a notice of forfeiture on July 12. People who believed they had a claim to any of that property had 30 days after Aug. 10 to file a claim for it otherwise the government keeps the property, according to court records.
On Sept. 3, Rahim Khan filed the petition saying Shakeel was lawfully keeping $675,000 of his own cash and used some of it to buy vehicles and houses.
On Tuesday, Johnson cited case law and facts of the case to come to his conclusion:
It’s the government’s job to make the connection between the property subject to forfeiture and the offense leading to a conviction, and prosecutors did that substantially during the trial, he wrote.
The court determines whether someone petitioning for the property has a valid claim to it, Johnson wrote.
That means a petitioner needs to establish a legal right, title or interest in the property. Rahim Khan never told the court before or during the trial that any of the property seized from Shakeel Kahn belonged to him, Johnson added.
And then there were some problems, big problems, with the cash.
Rahim Khan claimed he and his late wife carried at least $675,000 in U.S. currency from their home in Toronto to Fort Mohave, Ariz., between 2003 and 2009, and most of that — $600,000 — was in a suitcase in December 2009 when Shakeel drove Rahim over the national border.
Rahim said he and his wife intended to retire to one of the Fort Mohave residences forfeited in this case, and wanted Shakeel to invest some of the cash in real property or vehicles.
Rahim admitted he didn’t know if Shakeel used any of the cash to buy houses or vehicles, and no property was titled in his name.
His petition said nothing about declaring the large amount of cash he carried over the border, Johnson wrote. Federal law requires anyone entering the United States with $10,000 or more in cash to declare that. “… Rahim Khan has essentially admitted in writing, under penalty of perjury to committing the crime of bulk cash smuggling, a federal felony….”
Rahim had nothing to document that he ever had such cash, either.
He also could not prove that he gave the actual $675,000 — not just a like amount commingled with other funds — to Shakeel Kahn for safekeeping. At that point, the money was Shakeel Kahn’s, not his father’s.
As such, Rahim Kahn was an unsecured creditor and cannot claim to have an interest in that money, Johnson wrote.
For these and other reasons, Johnson wrote this about Rahim’s petition: “His allegations show he was but an unsecured creditor of Shakeel Kahn and did not have a superior right, title, or interest in the forfeited currency, automobiles, or residences at the time Shakeel Kahn committed the actsgiving rise to the foreitrure of the property.”