Judge orders forfeiture of Nuwaubian property

U.S. District Judge Ashley Royal issued an order Thursday allowing the government to seize $1.7 million in property tied to the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, including the sect’s 476-acre compound in Putnam County.

The decision comes just two weeks after Royal said he would hold out making a decision until he determines whether convicted child molester Malachi York, the group’s lesader, would get a new trial.

U.S. Attorney Maxwell Wood said Thursday it would now be up to the U.S. Marshal’s Office to determine when they will clear out the Putnam County compound and a home in Athens. He declined to comment on why the judge would change his mind on ruling on the forfeiture.

“We’ve said all along that Dwight (Malachi) York has always been in control of these properties,” Wood said Wednesday. “This was just a ploy to create confusion … which has become their usual tactic.”

Last year, federal prosecutors filed a civil lawsuit against York to seize the two pieces of property and more than $430,000 in cash seized at the time of York’s arrest. Officials have said profits from the property will go to the law enforcement agencies that worked the case.

Two groups of people – all claiming to be York supporters – came forward saying they were the actual owners of the property.

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