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UNITED STATES v. MESSINO

March 11, 1996

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
CHRISTOPHER RICHARD MESSINO and CLEMENT MESSINO



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ALESIA

 On February 12, 1996, the court held an evidentiary hearing on the third-party claim of Ted Borowski to a 1957 Pro-Mod race car called "Shake, Rattle, & Run" ("race car"), which was ordered forfeited in connection with the above-captioned criminal case.

 The court, based upon the credible evidence of record, makes the following Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.

 I. FINDINGS OF FACT

 A. Facts

 1. The jury returned a special verdict of forfeiture against the race car at the end of the criminal trial of Clement and Christopher Richard Messino.

 2. The court entered preliminary orders of forfeiture against the race car on August 17 and 21, 1995.

 3. Ted Borowski ("Borowski"), the claimant of the race car, is the owner of Ted Borowski Race Enterprises, Inc., in Rockdale, Illinois.

 4. The race car was also a defendant in the civil forfeiture proceeding United States v. Michelle's Lounge, No. 91 C 5783 (N.D. Ill.). Borowski filed a claim to the race car in that proceeding in October 1991.

 5. Borowski is a competitive race car driver and builder of high performance racing motors.

 6. In 1987 and 1988, Borowski raced another car called "Shake, Rattle and Run" ("original Shake, Rattle & Run").

 7. Dick Messino (also known as Christopher Richard Messino) owned the original Shake, Rattle & Run.

 8. The original Shake, Rattle & Run existed and was raced before Borowski raced it.

 9. Jerry Haas Race Cars, Inc. ("Haas"), in Fenton, Missouri, built the chassis of the race car.

 10. Dick Messino controlled the name "Shake, Rattle & Run."

 11. In 1990, Dick Messino and Borowski met with Jerry Haas about building the race car.

 12. Haas and Dick Messino entered into a contract for the building of the race car.

 13. Dick Messino signed the proposal sheet regarding the specifications to which the race car would be built.

 14. Dick Messino made the initial payment of $ 15,000 to Haas.

 15. Borowski made a payment of $ 11,000 to Haas for the race car.

 16. Borowski did not know who made payments of $ 9,000 and $ 2,725 for the race car.

 18. Borowski testified at the February 12, 1996, hearing before this court ("hearing") that he entered into a racing agreement with Dick Messino to protect the money and efforts he was putting into the joint venture with Dick Messino concerning the race car.

 19. The racing agreement was signed by Borowski and Dick Messino and dated August 31, 1990.

 20. Borowski testified at the hearing that under the racing agreement, Dick Messino had no ownership interest in the race car.

 21. Borowski testified at the hearing that he obtained full ownership of the race car after the ...


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