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Keyword: assetforfeiture

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  • US Customs seizes Ohio family's life savings at airport

    06/03/2018 10:33:35 AM PDT · by Ciaphas Cain · 89 replies
    CNN ^ | June 3, 2018 | Kelly Murray
    Members of an immigrant family in Ohio say US Customs and Border Protection seized $58,100 of their life savings. Now they want it back. Rustem Kazazi, 64, was headed to his native Albania to visit relatives in October, according to a federal lawsuit that he, his wife, Lejla, and son, Erald, filed this week in Ohio against the agency and others. The suit alleges Customs and Border Protection used civil forfeiture laws to take the money without arresting or charging anyone with a crime. Kazazi had planned to spend six months in Albania and buy a vacation home for retirement...
  • She saved thousands to open a medical clinic in Nigeria. U.S. Customs took all of it at the airport.

    05/09/2018 8:29:15 AM PDT · by Responsibility2nd · 101 replies
    MSN/Wash. Post ^ | 05/09/2018 | Meagan Flynn
    Anthonia Nwaorie spent years saving up thousands of dollars to open a medical clinic in Nigeria, where she was born. Finally, last October, she walked down a jet bridge at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport to board the plane to get there. The 59-year-old registered nurse had more than $37,000 in her carry-on bag and $4,000 in her purse. It was all cash, stowed in separate envelopes, some of it earmarked to help ill or aging family members. In her checked luggage she packed medical supplies and over-the-counter medication, which she planned to use to provide free basic care and checkups...
  • Utah Supremes To Decide Whether Cops Are Violating Forfeiture Ban

    04/18/2018 3:13:20 PM PDT · by Ken H · 20 replies
    Utah Supreme Court to decide whether police can avoid ban on taking money from motorists not charged with any crime by calling in the feds. Voters in Utah banned state officials from seizing property from people who committed no crime almost two decades ago -- or so they thought. Ever since Initiative B passed with 69 percent of the vote, police have evaded its provisions by seizing cash, turning it over to federal authorities, and then taking a cut of the proceeds in a way that is prohibited under state law. The Utah Supreme Court last week held oral arguments...
  • Don't Gut Civil Asset Forfeiture

    02/13/2018 10:09:35 AM PST · by nickcarraway · 84 replies
    al.com ^ | February 12, 2018 | Brian McVeigh, Dave Sutton
    By Brian McVeigh, Calhoun County District Attorney and president of the Alabama District Attorneys Association; and Dave Sutton, Sheriff of Coffee County and president of the Alabama Sheriffs AssociationThe Alabama Legislature is considering legislation that would change the way civil asset forfeitures are handled in Alabama. While well-meaning, some of the proposed changes would essentially gut what is an effective crime-fighting tool while making it easier for drug dealers and other criminals to hang on to their ill-gotten gains. The result would be more crime. Unfortunately, several special interest groups have pushed a narrative that law enforcement - police, sheriffs...
  • Denver city attorney’s office made $2.4 million in car seizures in 2016

    11/18/2017 3:18:46 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 20 replies
    Fox 31 KVDR Denver ^ | 13 Nov, 2017 | Rob Low
    DENVER -- The Problem Solvers have uncovered a city law that's making Denver millions of dollars before defendants have even been convicted of a crime. The Denver statute is called a Public Nuisance Abatement Ordinance and it allows police to confiscate property, usually cars, for a crime you may later be found innocent of. It's exactly what happened to 57-year-old Semere Fremichael, a native of Eritrea. The immigrant from East African has been driving a taxi in Denver for the past 28-years. In April, he was arrested in an undercover prostitution sting. An undercover female cop tapped on Fremichael's taxi...
  • How a tiny, rural Alabama drug unit seizes millions from Mexican cartels

    11/04/2017 2:26:10 PM PDT · by boycott · 12 replies
    AL.com ^ | 11-4-17 | Connor Sheets
    A lucrative battle against Mexican drug cartels is being fought on the sides of an interstate in three of Alabama's more rural counties. Civil asset forfeiture has come under fire in recent years, as some law enforcement agencies across the country have deployed the tactic in ways that have been widely criticized as abusive. But a small drug task force operating in Greene, Marengo and Sumter counties - collectively, Alabama's 17th Judicial Circuit - has leveraged the practice to take millions of dollars worth of cash, drugs and other property off the street in recent years, much of which they...
  • ICE’s Civil Forfeiture Guidelines Leaked, And They’re Not Good

    10/14/2017 8:18:31 AM PDT · by JP1201 · 22 replies
    Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are instructed to select property for forfeiture primarily based on its value, with the legal status of the property only a secondary concern, according to ICE forfeiture guidelines leaked to The Intercept. The 71-page “Asset Forfeiture Handbook” governs forfeiture practices for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), a branch of ICE, The Intercept reported Friday. Civil forfeiture is the government practice of taking property from a private citizen. In civil forfeiture cases, the state prosecutes a person’s property, rather than the owner themselves, and assumes the property’s guilt because property has no due process rights. While...
  • Pa.: Philly Police 'Slush Fund' for Seized Assets

    09/26/2017 7:44:00 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 15 replies
    Real Clear Investigations / Philadelphia Weekly ^ | 21 Sept, 2917 | NewslettersInvestigationsDonationsMore Pa.: Philly Police 'Slush Fund' for Seized Assets Max Ma
    When Philadelphia police use civil asset forfeiture to seize millions in cash, cars, and homes every year, the money is put into secretive municipal bank accounts. Long-hidden documents reveal what happened to at least some of the money. It went for submachine guns, outboard motors and "tens of thousands in mysterious cash withdrawals over the past five years." Some $5 million is unnaccounted for, this investigation reckons. From Philadelphia Weekly: Attorneys at the Virginia-based nonprofit depict civil asset forfeiture as one of the greatest threats to property rights in the nation today. Under the Trump administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions...
  • Congress is finally working to defund civil asset forfeiture

    09/03/2017 8:40:12 AM PDT · by Rusty0604 · 28 replies
    The Hill ^ | 09/02/2017 | By Jason Pye
    Next week, the House of Representatives will consider an appropriations bill,.... Some members, Republican and Democratic alike, have submitted amendment to the bill that would defund the directive issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to ramp up the use of civil asset forfeiture. Sessions is a vocal advocate of civil asset forfeiture, the process by which local law enforcement can permanently seize property or money that is suspected to have a connection to a crime. During an April 2015 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, then-Sen. Sessions was less than sympathetic toward a witness, Russ Caswell, whose hotel was wrongly seized when...
  • Voter Asset Forfeiture: The Witch Hunt Against President Trump

    08/03/2017 8:02:05 PM PDT · by Flintlocks Wife · 8 replies
    Free Republic ^ | Aug. 3, 2017 | Flintlocks Wife
    Th[e] Civil Asset Forfeiture law allows the police to confiscate the asset without a trial, summons, or conviction. They just grab the asset. In some cases, if people refused to sign a waiver for their cash or possessions, they were threatened with jail and losing their children to foster care. The 2016 presidential election is in many ways a battle between the once traditional idea of freedom in the form of the Nation State and that of the New World Order ruled by unelected bureaucrats as in Europe’s E.U.... (posted under "Don't Slouch Slowly Into Slavery" by Flintlocks Wife on...
  • BAM! POW! CHA-CHING! Sheriff's Office puts hundreds of seized comic books up for auction

    07/29/2017 6:54:51 AM PDT · by LostInBayport · 5 replies
    The Post and Courier ^ | July 28, 2017 | David Slade
    Holy cartoon cash, Batman! The Charleston County Sheriff's Office is auctioning off more than 400 comic books seized in a drug investigation. "It’s entirely possible there may be some treasures in there, and the hunt could be fun," said Mike Campbell, owner of Captain's Comics & Toys in West Ashley. The online auction, on govdeals.com, runs until Tuesday morning and already has attracted nearly two dozen bids. Campbell is not among the bidders. He said it sounds like most of the titles are from the 1990s and "most likely, fun books worth $1 to $5." He said the 1990s were...
  • Sessions Issues Policy and Guidelines on Federal Adoptions of Assets Seized (tr)

    07/21/2017 11:37:55 AM PDT · by Ray76 · 50 replies
    DOJ ^ | Jul 19, 2017 | AG Jeff Sessions
    Attorney General Jeff Sessions today announced a new Department of Justice policy regarding the federal adoption of assets seized by state or local law enforcement under state law. The Department’s new policy strengthens the civil asset forfeiture program to better protect victims of crime and innocent property owners, while streamlining the process to more easily dismantle criminal and terrorist organizations. The policy and guidelines were formulated after extensive consultation with the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, as well as line Assistant United States Attorneys, career officials in the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS),...
  • Sessions opens door for police to seize assets, faces GOP pushback

    07/19/2017 5:38:01 PM PDT · by ItsOnlyDaryl · 44 replies
    Fox News ^ | 7.19.17 | By Barnini Chakraborty
    Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday ordered the expansion of the government’s ability to seize suspects' property – a move that puts him at odds with members of his own party who have slammed the practice for years as ripe for abuse and a violation of civil rights.
  • Jeff Sessions Announces Justice Department Will Increase Asset Forfeiture

    07/17/2017 2:25:30 PM PDT · by Drew68 · 99 replies
    Reason ^ | 07/17/17 | C.J. Ciaramella
    U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department will issue new directives to increase the federal govenment's use of civil asset forfeiture, a controversial practice that allows law enforcement to seize property from suspected criminals without charging them with a crime. Speaking at a National District Attorneys Association conference in Minneapolis Monday, Sessions said state and local law enforcement could expect changes from U.S. Attorneys in several areas: increased prosecution of gun crimes, immigration offenses, gang activity, and prescription drug abuse, as well as increased asset seizure by the federal government. "[W]e hope to issue this week a new...
  • Four States Advance Against The Evils Of Civil Asset Forfeiture, But The Feds Do Nothing

    06/26/2017 11:46:34 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 9 replies
    Forbes ^ | June 26, 2017 | George Leef
    Like a bad skin disease that spreads rapidly once it takes hold, civil asset forfeiture grew rapidly for several decades, in the 80s and 90s especially. Once law enforcement agencies figured out how to turn it into an easy means of padding their budgets without much public scrutiny, they ran with it. Forfeiture laws originally meant to allow the confiscation of the great wealth amassed by drug overlords, were increasingly applied to seize small amounts of property owned by people who were merely suspected of having some connection with illegal activity. Many thousands of innocent Americans have had cash, cars,...
  • Clarence Thomas Attacks Civil Asset Forfeiture, Lower Court Follows His Lead

    06/25/2017 2:22:59 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 58 replies
    Reason ^ | Jun. 21, 2017 | Damon Root
    Asset forfeiture "has led to egregious and well-chronicled abuses."In March the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case filed by a Texas woman fighting for the return of over $200,000 in cash that the police seized from her family. Although neither Lisa Olivia Leonard nor any of her relatives were ever charged with any underlying crime connected to the cash, the state's sweeping asset forfeiture laws allowed the authorities to take the money. The Supreme Court offered no explanation when it refused to hear Leonard v. Texas. But one member of the Court did speak up in protest. In...
  • The IRS Can Seize Your Money Based on a Hunch. This Bill Would Bring That to an End.

    06/13/2017 9:59:30 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 21 replies
    The Daily Signal ^ | June 8, 2017 | Neil Siefring
    The federal government currently wields a tremendous amount of power over the citizens of the United States, far more than the Founders intended. One manifestation of federal overreach is civil asset forfeiture. This practice allows the federal government to confiscate the wealth of its citizens upon the mere suspicion of wrongdoing. The IRS, not content with expropriating the wealth of its citizens on April 15 every year, has now taken up the practice of seizing funds that have been involved in perfectly legal transactions on the basis of a hunch. Thankfully, legislation in the House and the Senate has been...
  • Government Burglars

    04/09/2017 6:40:37 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 14 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | April 9, 2017 | Paul Jacob
    The legitimate purpose of government? It is to protect citizens from force and fraud, to defend individuals against violent and criminal attacks on their persons and property, and, beyond that, to leave them at liberty to pursue their own happiness. Tyranny, conversely, is what we call governments that engage in force and fraud, committing violent and criminal acts against innocent people — even when those crimes are cloaked in the costume of legality. In these United States, at this modern moment in time, which is it? Do we live in a legitimately governed country or an abject tyranny? Or is...
  • Judge Foils Highway Robbery Attempt (By Police)

    04/06/2017 11:27:46 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 36 replies
    Forbes ^ | April 6, 2017 | George Leef
    Imagine if something like this happened to you. You are away on a trip when you get word that your son was involved in a serious accident. You rush home and find out that he had taken your late-model SUV, driven it while drunk, and wrecked the vehicle beyond the point of repair. The dumb kid is all right, but facing charges for his criminal drunk driving. But that’s not all. Because your vehicle was involved in the commission of a crime, it is subject to seizure under the state’s civil asset forfeiture law. Therefore, you stand to lose big...
  • Supreme Court Justice Slams Civil Forfeiture (Clarence Thomas)

    03/18/2017 12:55:10 PM PDT · by Ken H · 29 replies
    the Newspaper ^ | 03/08/2017 | n/a
    Justice Clarence Thomas questions the constitutionality of taking property from motorists with civil procedures. The idea that the government can take away someone's car or cash without due process offends at least one member of the US Supreme Court. In a statement Monday, Justice Clarence Thomas called on his colleagues to revisit civil asset forfeiture, the process that allows prosecutors to go after assets allegedly linked in some way to a crime. The justice argued the system has been widely abused. "Civil proceedings often lack certain procedural protections that accompany criminal proceedings, such as the right to a jury trial...