By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Speaker Mike Hubbard, who has been indicted by the State on 23 felony counts of public corruption, is trying to sell-off assets that may be subject to State forfeiture laws.
The 2014 Act states, “Any property, proceeds, or instrumentality of every kind, used or intended for use in the course of, derived from, or realized through the commission of a felony offense, as defined in this act, or as inducement or attempt or conspiracy to commit such offenses, is subject to civil forfeiture.”
Hubbard is selling his Auburn Network for $1.6 million; the building that houses the radio and consulting business can also be purchased for another million.
According to a prominent forfeiture expert, the prosecution in the Hubbard case can and most likely will file to seize Hubbard’s assets, as his businesses were used and were the beneficiaries of millions from contracts, loans and payments.
Hubbard held his many so-called consulting contracts under Auburn Network. Money Hubbard funneled into his other business interests from ALGOP was paid to his printing company, Craftmaster Printers, Inc.
The forfeiture expert also points out that if Hubbard sells these businesses or properties, the law could allow for a judge to declare the sales void, requiring the purchaser to return the property to the State.
“Any sale that Hubbard would make should carry a clause that states, ‘if the property is seized, Hubbard would return the purchaser’s money.’”
Hubbard is reportedly having trouble paying his growing legal fees. His donors are drying up, leaving him no other option but to liquidate his property and assets. But, there is a growing suspicion that he is trying to avoid forfeiture.
The State can file for forfeiture before or after Hubbard’s trial. According to our source, the prosecution can file a civil suit to confiscate Hubbard’s property before trial. Filing before trial requires the State demonstrate the likelihood of its case being successful. “It is sometimes used to convince a felony defendant to accept a plea arrangement,” said the expert. “This a matter of strategy.”
Filing after a conviction is much easier, since the case against the felon has been proven.
The law is clear: If Hubbard is convicted, he will almost assuredly see many of his assets seized by the State.