STATE OF NEW JERSEY VS. AMBOY NATIONAL BANK ACCOUNT
NUMBER XXX-XXXX-2 VALUED AT FOUR HUNDRED THIRTY-SIX
THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE DOLLARS AND
EIGHTY-SIX CENTS IN UNITED STATES CURRENCY, ET AL.
This civil forfeiture action concerns the seizure of $846,000, $722,000 of which represented "entry fees" to participate in sports pools. The claimant admitted operating sports pools for approximately twenty years but denied the pools were illegal. The New Jersey Constitution prohibits the Legislature from authorizing gambling except through referendum and several exceptions established by the Constitution. The pools operated by claimant did not fall within any of these exceptions. We further conclude the State met its burden to show by a preponderance of the evidence that (1) there was a direct causal connection between the money seized and the promotion of gambling and (2) the promotion of gambling involved constituted an indictable offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:37-2. We further reject claimant's argument that the court erred in failing to allocate
the funds seized between illegal and legal purposes, noting claimant failed to present sufficient credible evidence in response to the State's motion for summary judgment to permit such an allocation. Finally, we reject claimant's argument that the State violated the notice provision of N.J.S.A. 2C:64-3 by failing to give notice to the players whose entry fees had been deposited into the joint accounts held by claimant and were part of the funds seized.