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Federal Asset Seizures Rise, Netting Innocent With Guilty (Big Government Tyranny Alert)
The Wall Street Journal ^ | 2011-08-22 | John R. Emshwiller & Gary Fields

Posted on 08/22/2011 7:12:50 PM PDT by rabscuttle385

New York businessman James Lieto was an innocent bystander in a fraud investigation last year. Federal agents seized $392,000 of his cash anyway.

An armored-car firm hired by Mr. Lieto to carry money for his check-cashing company got ensnared in the FBI probe. Agents seized about $19 million—including Mr. Lieto's money—from vaults belonging to the armored-car firm's parent company.

He is one among thousands of Americans in recent decades who have had a jarring introduction to the federal system of asset seizure. Some 400 federal statutes—a near-doubling, by one count, since the 1990s—empower the government to take assets from convicted criminals as well as people never charged with a crime.

Last year, forfeiture programs confiscated homes, cars, boats and cash in more than 15,000 cases. The total take topped $2.5 billion, more than doubling in five years, Justice Department statistics show.

The expansion of forfeiture powers is part of a broader growth in recent decades of the federal justice system that has seen hundreds of new criminal laws passed. Some critics have dubbed the pattern as the overcriminalization of American life.

(snip)

The more than 400 federal statutes allowing for forfeiture range from racketeering and drug-dealing to violations of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act, according to a December 2009 Congressional Research Service report. The report shows that seizure powers were extended to about 200 of those laws in 2000 in a major congressional overhaul of the forfeiture system.

Top federal officials are also pushing for greater use of civil-forfeiture proceedings, in which assets can be taken without criminal charges being filed against the owner.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: bho44; biggovernment; bloodoftyrants; cocaine; communism; corruption; criminalgovernment; crushfedgov; cwii; doj; dojisajoke; fedgov; fedzilla; forfeiture; fraud; gop; gopfailure; gopsellouts; govtabuse; govtracketeering; heroine; judicialtyranny; liberalfascism; lping; meth; policestate; racketeering; rapeofliberty; rapeoftaxpayers; tyranny; warondrugs; wod; yourdaughter

1 posted on 08/22/2011 7:12:55 PM PDT by rabscuttle385
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To: rabscuttle385
As Criminal Laws Proliferate, More Are Ensnared
2 posted on 08/22/2011 7:16:52 PM PDT by Palter (Celebrate diversity .22, .223, .25, 9mm, .32 .357, 10mm, .44, .45, .500)
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To: Palter
The first federal criminal statute, signed into law on April 30, 1790, includes only a handful of offenses: treason, counterfeiting, piracy, and murder, maiming and robbery in federal jurisdictions. It fit on to two sheets of parchment, each around 27 inches by 22 inches, and was handwritten in iron gall ink. 

3 posted on 08/22/2011 7:18:03 PM PDT by Palter (Celebrate diversity .22, .223, .25, 9mm, .32 .357, 10mm, .44, .45, .500)
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To: Abathar; Abcdefg; Abram; Abundy; albertp; Alexander Rubin; Allosaurs_r_us; amchugh; ...




Libertarian ping! Click here to get added or here to be removed or post a message here!
View past Libertarian pings here
4 posted on 08/22/2011 7:18:57 PM PDT by rabscuttle385 (Live Free or Die)
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To: rabscuttle385

After all, due process is a delusional block to the will of the people. Why should social justice be ensnared in the rules promoted by dead white slave owners and capitalists?


5 posted on 08/22/2011 7:21:12 PM PDT by JimSEA (The future ain't what it used to be.)
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To: Palter

Guess maybe hiring the AAA Armored Car Company, and then letting them keep your cash in their safe, was not such a grand idea.

Might’ve had no choice, I don’t know.


6 posted on 08/22/2011 7:21:36 PM PDT by Steely Tom (Obama goes on long after the thrill of Obama is gone)
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To: rabscuttle385

The Rico Act was supposed to allow the government to seize assets of organized crime. The government has become the organized crime it was supposed to protect us from.


7 posted on 08/22/2011 7:24:45 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Islam is the religion of Satan and Mohammed was his minion.)
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To: rabscuttle385

yep.


8 posted on 08/22/2011 7:28:07 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand
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To: Blood of Tyrants

power corrupts and all that.


9 posted on 08/22/2011 7:29:22 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand
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To: rabscuttle385

God bless the War on Drugs for making this possible. Anyone with more than 1000 bucks on them is obviously up to no good and deserves to be put in jail for life.


10 posted on 08/22/2011 7:29:32 PM PDT by 10thAmendmentGuy ("It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues." -Abraham Lincoln)
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To: rabscuttle385

New tagline ...


11 posted on 08/22/2011 7:40:30 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (At best, all the Republicans are willing to give the Federal Behemoth is a slight haircut.)
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To: EternalVigilance
At best, all the Republicans are willing to give the Federal Behemoth is a slight haircut.

Sick!

FUMR!!!

12 posted on 08/22/2011 7:43:21 PM PDT by rabscuttle385 (Live Free or Die)
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To: rabscuttle385

this why the Revolutionary war was started.....


13 posted on 08/22/2011 8:06:40 PM PDT by mo
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To: rabscuttle385

federal government is the largest criminal enterprise in history , unaccountable to anyone and immune to any threats to it’s tyranny.


14 posted on 08/22/2011 8:43:12 PM PDT by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: Palter

Today, iron gall ink is probably banned by the EPA/s;)


15 posted on 08/22/2011 8:44:35 PM PDT by Frank_2001
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To: paul51
federal government is the largest criminal enterprise in history , unaccountable to anyone and immune to any threats to it’s tyranny.

Well said. The bureaucracy is no longer even accountable to Congress or the President. We live in interesting and dangerous times.
16 posted on 08/22/2011 9:16:41 PM PDT by microgood
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To: rabscuttle385

The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.

- Ayn Rand
17 posted on 08/23/2011 1:11:30 AM PDT by Roccus (Obama & Holder LLP, Procurers of fine arms to the most discerning drug lords (202) 456-1414)
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To: rabscuttle385

“Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against... We’re after power and we mean it... There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be
much easier to deal with.”


18 posted on 08/23/2011 3:18:20 AM PDT by RWB Patriot ("My ability is a value that must be purchased and I don't recognize anyone's need as a claim on me.")
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To: rabscuttle385
The report shows that seizure powers were extended to about 200 of those laws in 2000 in a major congressional overhaul of the forfeiture system.

And which party had a majority in both houses of congress during that time? The one that *claims* to give a hoot about that burning document. Makes you sick...
19 posted on 08/23/2011 5:17:38 AM PDT by bamahead (Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master. -- Sallust)
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To: bamahead

Yup!


20 posted on 08/23/2011 5:40:07 AM PDT by rabscuttle385 (Live Free or Die)
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To: rabscuttle385

I have a problem with asset seizures. If the government were to pursue a fine against an alleged criminal,the DA would have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. But asset seizure allows the DA to seize the same amount of money from the defendant — with a lower burden of proof — by stamping the procedure “civil” rather than criminal. How did the Constitution become interpreted to allow the government to do indirectly what it cannot do directly?


21 posted on 08/23/2011 7:18:37 AM PDT by Socon-Econ (Socon-Econ)
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To: rabscuttle385

And the sheeple silently watch American Idol....


22 posted on 08/23/2011 8:59:19 AM PDT by CSM (Keeper of the "Dave Ramsey Fan" ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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To: mo

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”


23 posted on 08/23/2011 9:08:59 AM PDT by CSM (Keeper of the "Dave Ramsey Fan" ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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