Thomas J. Abernathy
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Legal Studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, he went on to obtain a Financial Crimes Investigation Certification from Utica College before embarking on a lengthy career in executive law enforcement for more than 25 years.
In 2013, TJ was appointed as Assistant Chief Inspector International Unit for the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the United States Marshals Service (USMS). In this role, he was the primary subject matter expert on international forfeiture for the DOJ, conducted Asset Forfeiture Program assessments in a number of foreign countries and helped several foreign government agencies to develop new asset forfeiture and confiscation procedures.
In his position as Head of International Assets at the USMS, TJ personally created and evolved its policies for managing seized assets across international borders. Together with the USMS Asset Forfeiture Financial Investigators and legal professionals from the United States Attorney’s Office, he coordinated countless investigations that resulted in the recovery of high-profile assets over international borders in the Isle of Man, Ireland, Romania, Malta, the US, the UK and Indonesia. He was instrumental in recovering a collection of luxury assets from the infamous Malaysian businessman Jho Low as part of the notorious 1MDB scandal.
Throughout his career, TJ has been keen to share his knowledge of financial investigations and asset forfeiture with both the international community and the next generation of law enforcement. He has spent time instructing on the newest investigation, management and recovery techniques for the DOJ as well as hosting foreign delegations of law enforcement and judicial professionals to discuss collaboration efforts on asset forfeiture and asset management training programs. Since 2012, TJ has represented the United States in the Camden Asset Recovery Informal Network (CARIN), an international steering group focused on developing best practices for asset recovery around the world. He has even been credited with the creation of the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network for the Caribbean (ARIN-CARIB).