Suit claims US government arbitrarily took $100,000,000 in cash, gold, and jewellery from citizens
A new complaint claims that the United States government illegally removed over $100 million from the safety deposit boxes of California residents without providing any explanation.
Many civilians have had their property seized by the FBI with little to no explanation, and the charity Institute for Justice claims it is attempting to stop forfeiture proceedings on their behalf.
A couple from Los Angeles claims the FBI has refused to explain why it took $40,200 from their safety deposit box.
Attorney Bob Belden said the FBI’s action is unethical and a breach of the Martins’ constitutional rights. If the government can’t tell you what you did wrong, it shouldn’t be able to seize your property.
When the government uses civil forfeiture, it may seize and hold property without having any reasonable suspicion that the owners have done anything wrong. The FBI then sends out generic forfeiture notifications that don’t provide any information to property owners. What you just said is not only incorrect but also against the law.
The Institute for Justice reports that the total value of cash, gold, jewellery, and other items confiscated by the FBI operation in Beverly Hills exceeded $100 million.
All individuals who have received an FBI forfeiture notice are requesting a stay of administrative procedures in a new action filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Linda claims that she and her husband have not been arrested and that they have seen no signs that they will get their money back.
“Nearly two years have passed since the FBI snatched my life savings, yet I still have no explanation. Everything about this has been difficult and irritating ever since my money was stolen. This should never happen to anybody.”
According to Rob Frommer, a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, federal law enforcement makes a lot of money via civil and criminal forfeiture.
“In Linda’s case, we see the unfortunate reality that federal forfeiture encourages agents to take as much as they can, even when there is no evidence to support a criminal act. Property owners are kept in the dark as part of the FBI’s “policing for profit” strategy.”
The Institute claims that a federal court found that the FBI had violated due process and the Fifth Amendment by providing an “anaemic” forfeiture notice to a client participating in the same safety deposit seizure operation.