Authorities seek to seize El Chapo's $12.6 billion assets

Convicted Mexican drug cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman owes the U.S. government more than $12 billion, federal prosecutors said Friday.

The prosecutors are now seeking to seize Guzman’s assets following his conviction back in February, following a three-month trial examining his drug trafficking into the U.S. as the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.

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The government aims to collect $12,666,191,704 from the drug lord and his narco-empire, the New York Post reported, citing new court papers filed in Brooklyn federal court.

Witnesses testified in court during Guzman’s trial the drug lord lived a lavish life and owned personal planes, had a private zoo with a tiny train inside it, and other over-the-top assets.

While Guzman’s wealth somewhat evaporated amid legal problems, prosecutors say that there’s no need to for the government to show that he has cash on hand in order to seize it – only that his assets once were worth that sum.

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“The government is entitled to the forfeiture of all property that constitutes or is derived from the defendant’s narcotics-related crimes, as well as any property that facilitated the commission of those crimes,” the filing said.

“The government need not prove that the defendant can pay the forfeiture money judgment; it need only prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount it seeks is forfeitable.”

The authorities came up with the $12 billion valuation by meticulously reviewing and analyzing Guzman’s empire built on drugs.

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Guzman is scheduled to be sentenced on July 17, facing life in prison.