The $3.5 million multimillion dollar home of ex Gambian President Jammeh in the wealthy Washington DC neighborhood of Potomac has been forfeited to the US government by a US court in the state of Maryland.
In July, the US Government filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Maryland seeking the forfeiture of the six-bedroom, nine-bathroom home at Bentcross Drive, Potomac, Maryland costing more than $3.5M
Early Sunday, media reports said a judge in Maryland delivered the judgement in favor of the US department of justice against Yahya Jammeh after months of legal action against the former Gambian leader, who currently lives in Exile in Equatorial Guinea.
“Yahya Jammeh corruptly obtained millions of dollars through the embezzlement of public funds and the solicitation of bribes” from businesses seeking to obtain monopoly rights over petroleum, telecommunications and other sectors of the Gambian economy, the U.S. Department of Justice wrote in a news release during the court proceedings.
Public records in the US reveal the home was sold for $3.5 million in 2010 to the Jammeh family trust by basketball star Calbert Cheaney, who previously played for the Washington Bullets (now Washington Wizards.)
In addition, the release claims that Jammeh, 56, “conspired with his family members and close associates to utilize a host of shell companies and overseas trusts to launder his corrupt proceeds throughout the world, including through the purchase of a multimillion-dollar mansion in Potomac, Maryland.”
The lawsuit says that during the latter years of Jammeh’s presidency, his annual salary was no more than $65,000 in U.S. dollars.
The complaint cites a nine-volume report released last year by Gambia’s Ministry of Justice that concludes Jammeh lacked the income to support his lavish lifestyle and “wasted, misappropriated, diverted or simply stole” the equivalent of more than $300 million from public accounts.
On Dec. 21, 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on Jammeh stemming from human rights abuses committed by his regime.
According to that press release:
“Jammeh created a terror and assassination squad called the Junglers that answered directly to him.
During Jammeh’s tenure, he ordered the Junglers to kill a local religious leader, journalists, members of the political opposition, and former members of the government, among others.
Throughout his presidency, Jammeh routinely ordered the abuse and murder of those he suspected of undermining his authority.”
Robert K. Hur, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland said in the Justice Department’s news release then. “The United States will not allow criminals to profit from their crimes and will seek justice for crime victims both here and abroad.”
Neither Jammeh nor the trust appears to have retained an attorney to represent them; as of Aug. 4, and none were listed in the case docket.