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F. Lee Bailey Relinquishes Claim to Drug Dealer's Securities



On May 17, F. Lee Bailey gave up his claim to 400,000 shares of securities that once belonged to Claude Duboc, a Canadian drug smuggler he represented ("F. Lee Bailey gives up his claim to millions in stock of ex-client," New York Times, May 18, 1996).

Just days before a hearing in which a federal judge was to decide whether Bailey or the government was the rightful owner of the stock, Bailey signed an agreement relinquishing his claim. The agreement also requires Bailey to make restitution for the $3 million in cash, from Duboc's holdings, that the government said should also have been forfeited.

As reported in April's Newsbriefs, Bailey's refusal to surrender the assets pending the outcome of the hearing prompted Judge Maurice M. Paul to sentence him to six months in jail for contempt of court earlier this year. Bailey served six weeks. The 400,000 shares, worth $16.9 million, were turned over in April as a condition for Bailey's release from jail.

Roger Zuckerman, Bailey's lawyer, said Bailey may try to reclaim the shares through "a more appropriate forum" like the federal Court of Claims. But in an order issued by the court, Judge Paul said the signed agreement with Bailey prohibited him from pursuing any claim "now or in the future, not only in this forum but in any other forum."