26 U.S. Code § 5688 - Disposition and release of seized property
All distilled spirits, wines, and beer forfeited, summarily or by order of court, under any law of the United States, shall be delivered to the Administrator of General Services to be disposed of as hereinafter provided.
The Administrator of General Services shall dispose of all distilled spirits, wines, and beer which have been delivered to him pursuant to paragraph (1)—
(A) by delivery to such Government agencies as, in his opinion, have a need for such distilled spirits, wines, or beer for medicinal, scientific, or mechanical purposes, or for any other official purpose for which appropriated funds may be expended by a Government agency; or
(B) by gifts to such eleemosynary institutions as, in his opinion, have a need for such distilled spirits, wines, or beer for medicinal purposes; or
(3) Limitation on disposal
Except as otherwise provided by law, no distilled spirits, wines, or beer which have been seized under any law of the United States may be disposed of in any manner whatsoever except after forfeiture and as provided in this subsection.
The Administrator of General Services is authorized to make all rules and regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this subsection.
(5) Remission or mitigation of forfeitures
Nothing in this section shall affect the authority of the Secretary, under the customs or internal revenue laws, to remit or mitigate the forfeiture, or alleged forfeiture, of such distilled spirits, wines, or beer, or the authority of the Secretary, to compromise any civil or criminal case in respect of such distilled spirits, wines, or beer prior to commencement of suit thereon, or the authority of the Secretary to compromise any claim under the customs laws in respect to such distilled spirits, wines, or beer.
(b) Distraint or judicial process
Except as provided in section 5243, all distilled spirits sold by order of court, or under process of distraint, shall be sold subject to tax; and the purchaser shall immediately, and before he takes possession of said spirits, pay the tax thereon, pursuant to the applicable provisions of this chapter and in accordance with regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary.
(c) Release of seized vessels or vehicles by courts
Notwithstanding any provisions of law relating to the return on bond of any vessel or vehicle seized for the violation of any law of the United States, the court having jurisdiction of the subject matter may, in its discretion and upon good cause shown by the United States, refuse to order such return of any such vessel or vehicle to the claimant thereof. As used in this subsection, the word “vessel” includes every description of watercraft used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation in water or in water and air; and the word “vehicle” includes every animal and description of carriage or other contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on land or through the air.
Source(Added Pub. L. 85–859, title II, § 201,Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1412; amended Pub. L. 94–455, title XIX, § 1906(b)(13)(A),Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1834.)
A prior section 5688, act Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 701, consisted of provisions similar to those comprising this section, prior to the general revision of this chapter by Pub. L. 85–859.
1976—Subsecs. (a)(5), (b). Pub. L. 94–455struck out “or his delegate” after “Secretary” wherever appearing.