A federal judge has ruled that the payments on the policy of the San Bernardino killer can be taken by the government.
A federal judge ruling says the U.S. government can seize the life insurance policy of Syed Rizwan Farook. Farook was one of the extremist terrorists involved in the murders in San Bernardino last year.
The murderer purchased life insurance coverage near the time he was planning the terrorist attacks.
He and a friend, Enrique Marquez – an extremist Muslim convert – planned terrorist attacks together. He started with one life insurance policy but soon added a second one. The plans they made together were never carried out. However, Marquez has been charged with providing the weapon used by Farook in the San Bernardino attack. On December 2, 2015, Farook used the weapon in a terrorist attack that killed 14 people and wounded 22 others.
Farook was covered by the life insurance policy when he carried out the attack with his wife, Tashfeen Malik.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted a lawsuit filing for civil asset forfeiture of the life insurance payments. As Farook was killed in the terrorist attack, the life insurance companies that sold the policies was required to make payouts. The beneficiaries of the policy were Farook’s family members. The payout would have totaled $275,000.
The first insurance policy was taken out in 2012 and was for $25,000. Farook’s mother, Rafia, was named the primary beneficiary for that policy as well as the second one. The second policy was taken out in 2013. It was for $250,000.
The DOJ’s lawsuit sought to seize the funds from both forms of life insurance coverage. The case presented by the DOJ said that Farook was already making terrorism plans with Marquez as far back as 2011. Therefore, the life insurance was purchased at a time when he was already planning to take part in acts of terrorism.
U.S. District Judge Jesus G. Bernal ruled that the federal government can, therefore, seize the payments. There remains an appeal window of 35 to 60 days. Should the government obtain the life insurance policy payments, it will divide them among the survivors and families of the victims.