Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered v. United States

In Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered v. United States, 491 U.S. 617 (1989), the Supreme Court said that "forfeiture is a substantive charge in the indictment against a defendant." Id., at 628, n. 5. That statement responded to the defendant's claim that his Sixth Amendment right to counsel "for his defense" could be transformed into a defense to a forfeiture count in the indictment. The Supreme Court intended only to suggest that a defendant cannot escape an otherwise appropriate forfeiture sanction by pointing to his need for counsel to represent him on the underlying charges. Elsewhere in that opinion the Supreme Court recognized that forfeiture is a "criminal sanction," id., at 634, and is imposed as a sentence under 853, id., at 620, n. 1.