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Cocaine Kingpin Wins Damages Over Kosher Prison Food — Then Loses It In Clawback

A jailed drug dealer won nearly $6,000 from the British government after being denied kosher food in prison — only to see the government take back the money as it tries to claw back his ill-gotten profits.

Frederick Colverson was convicted of conspiring to supply class A drugs and sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2012 after 383 pounds of cocaine were discovered hidden inside pineapple boxes shipped from Costa Rica. Per court orders, the British government has been working to seize £377,000 ($497,000) of his assets allegedly earned from the crime.

Colverson, who has colitis and has had half his liver removed, complained from prison that he was being denied kosher food, which he said caused him to have to spend time in the prison hospital. He reached a settlement with the Department of Justice for £4,500 ($5,931). But Judge John Devaux granted a request by the Crown Prosecution Service to count that award toward the money the British government is seeking to seize.

“It’s not just about him being deprived of his rights as an adherent to Judaism,” Colverson’s solicitor, David Lister, told the court, adding that taking the money would be unjust.

The drug shipment discovered by British police was said to be worth £34 million ($45 million).

Contact Aiden Pink at pink@forward.com or on Twitter, @aidenpink

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