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Old 09-26-2013, 11:54 AM   #1
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Default Civil Forfeiture seems unfairly administered to me.

The whole idea behind the creation of money laundering laws is that it's indicative of a criminal enterprise. So when signs of money laundering are discovered, a judge should be able to issue wiretap and search warrants so detectives can find evidence of an actual criminal enterprise.

However, the above idea has been bastardized. Instead, the very act of moving money around has been made criminal in and of itself.

The idea that an immoral act should be a crime is "MALA IN SE" (Latin for bad in itself). e.g. rape, murder, theft, et al.

This is in contrast to "MALA PROHIBITA" which means "bad by law". For example, driving 75 in a 65. It's only bad because the law says so, and few people would say it's immoral.

When the first money laundering laws were put in place in the 70s, the dollar amount was set at $10,000. And that amount was not indexed for inflation. So the real value of that limit diminishes over time.

What's worse, if you are suspected of "trying to get around the law" by breaking up the dollar amount into multiple smaller chunks, then you are *breaking* the law.

That's like saying driving at 64 mph is wrong because you are trying to get around the 65 mph law.

Current civil forfeiture laws allow cops to take cash from you at a traffic stop (and even if it's <$10,000) - you are GUILTY until proven innocent, and the onus is ON YOU to prove that the cash wasn't from some criminal activity.

Overly broad laws are very, very bad. The idea that bureaucrats will use judgment is very dangerous. Bureaucrats do what bureaucrats do, and some ******* bureaucrat WILL ENFORCE the letter of the law to a ridiculous extreme because "it is their job" and it gets them a promotion.

How did "the land of the free" get to this point?


USA TODAY: Assault by civil forfeiture: Column

Feds Raid Family Grocery Store's Checking Account Over Innocent Bank Deposits - YouTube
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:03 PM   #2
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How did "the land of the free" get to this point?
Because it's an easy way to make over 3 billion a year?

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Civil forfeiture is largely a product of the war on drugs. In 1984, Congress passed an omnibus crime bill that gave local police departments a cut of the assets seized during drug raids and other investigations.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/new-y...#ixzz2g0mct1B3
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:05 PM   #3
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Left with nothing | The Washington Post

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This man owed $134 in property taxes. The District sold the lien to an investor who foreclosed on his $197,000 house and sold it. He and many other homeowners like him were
LEFT WITH NOTHING
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:05 PM   #4
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Reality Check: Asset Seizure - WPMI LOCAL 15 News - Top Stories

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Knizley recently had a client who was convicted of selling drugs. The government seized his half of his Irvington home. "The house was jointly owned, but then they wanted to seize the wife's half, who was never charged with anything," said Knizley. In the end, the wife lost her home. Not because she dealt drugs but because her husband did out of their home.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:06 PM   #5
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Are Innocent Citizens at Risk of Police Seizure of Their Cash, Cars and Homes? | PBS NewsHour | Aug. 19, 2013 | PBS

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And you don't even have the right to a lawyer. So, conventionally, if you're facing the loss of your home or the loss of your car or cash, normally, at the very least, you would have someone who is able to represent you in these claims.

In places like Washington, D.C., you have to even pay $2,500 simply for the right to contest the case. And you're, again, not entitled to representation when you do that. So it can be a very costly process and also just a very confusing, arduous process to figure out, how do you contest?
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:09 PM   #6
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Sarah Stillman: The Use and Abuse of Civil Forfeiture : The New Yorker

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The county’s district attorney, a fifty-seven-year-old woman with feathered Charlie’s Angels hair named Lynda K. Russell, arrived an hour later. Russell, who moonlighted locally as a country singer, told Henderson and Boatright that they had two options. They could face felony charges for “money laundering” and “child endangerment,” in which case they would go to jail and their children would be handed over to foster care. Or they could sign over their cash to the city of Tenaha, and get back on the road. “No criminal charges shall be filed,” a waiver she drafted read, “and our children shall not be turned over to CPS,” or Child Protective Services.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:10 PM   #7
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Iranian-American fights federal seizure of some $841,000 | ABQJournal Online

http://www.alamogordonews.com/ci_237...iture-claim-by

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Federal law enforcement doesn’t like the way used car dealer Reza Ella does his banking, and as a result has seized $841,883.84 from his business and personal bank accounts....
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:11 PM   #8
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Oklahoma DA halts I-40 drug stops after criticism | News OK

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HINTON — After seizing more than $1 million in cash in drug stops this year, a district attorney has suspended further roadside busts by his task force because of growing criticism over a private company's participation.

Caddo County District Attorney Jason Hicks on Thursday defends his hiring of a private company to provide training to his task force on drug stops.

His prosecutors have dropped all criminal cases arising from the drug stops, The Oklahoman was told. Some seized money is being returned. The attorney general's office is investigating one complaint some seized funds went missing.

“I'm shocked,” a Caddo County special judge said July 2.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:13 PM   #9
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East Texas DA offered leniency for cash - Longview News-Journal: State

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CENTER — The district attorney in an East Texas county with a well-known drug-trafficking route repeatedly allowed suspected drug runners and money launderers to receive light sentences — or escape criminal charges altogether — if they forfeited their cash to prosecutors.

As a result, authorities collected more than $800,000 in less than a year using a practice that essentially let suspects buy their way out of allegations that, if proven, would probably have resulted in prison sentences.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:23 PM   #10
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A matter of due process - The Observation Deck

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As a citizen, you’re entitled to due process, you’re supposed to be secure in your personal effects, and you’re protected against unreasonable seizures. It’s in the Constitution.

Yet in essence, the abuse of those rights happens virtually every day. As a Hearst Newspapers investigation found, asset forfeiture netted the federal government more than $4.7 billion in cash, cars, stocks and other property last year alone — sometimes from people who hadn’t even been charged with a crime or had even a moment in court.

As our Washington Bureau’s Stewart Powell found, 15 federal agencies that have the power to seize assets have taken more than $20 billion over the past 12 years. Yes, they recover money that sometimes makes its way back to victims of financial crimes and other schemes. But it also often happens before the accused have even had their days in court.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JasonC SBB View Post
How did "the land of the free" get to this point?
Simple. Government bureaucracy is administered by individuals who sometimes abuse their power or act in ways contrary to what some people might consider to be consistent with "common sense."

It's actually pretty straightforward once you put aside the conspiracy mindset.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:32 PM   #12
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:P
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:04 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Simple. Government bureaucracy is administered by individuals who sometimes abuse their power or act in ways contrary to what some people might consider to be consistent with "common sense."
"I am a government worker. I was taught to do it this way. I never thought to question if it was legal or moral because, as a government worker, I am taught not to think. I do what I am told. I watch American Idol. It is thrilling television."-zombie
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:18 PM   #14
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Simple. Government bureaucracy is administered by individuals who sometimes abuse their power or act in ways contrary to what some people might consider to be consistent with "common sense."
Agreed 100%. To add to that, it is in the incentive structure built into gov't that produces this result.

But how do these bad laws get written in the first place?

I believe in what Thomas Jefferson said - the only protection liberty has is an educated populace. Not enough people are aware of the distinction I wrote above, MAL IN SE vs MAL PROHIBITA.

As the video "I am Fishead" says, "not enough people distinguish between just vs. unjust laws. Most people just say "It's the law!", and never question the law.

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It's actually pretty straightforward once you put aside the conspiracy mindset.
Who's bringing up "conspiracies" in this thread?
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
"I am a government worker. I was taught to do it this way. I never thought to question if it was legal or moral because, as a government worker, I am taught not to think. I do what I am told. I watch American Idol. It is thrilling television."-zombie
Exactly. Hanlon's razor states that we should never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.


In David Coady's Conspiracy Theories: The Philosophical Debate, Bernard Ingham (former press secretary under Margaret Thatcher) observes:
Many journalists have fallen for the conspiracy theory of government. I do assure you that they would produce more accurate work if they adhered to the ****-up theory.




Sometimes the simplest answer really is the correct one.
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Old 09-27-2013, 03:37 PM   #16
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NYPD Saws Through Locks To Confiscate Bikes Parked Near Biden: Gothamist



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"When I walked out of my office after work, my blue Bianchi of over 14.5 years was missing, and two of my locks were cut laying on the ground," Arthur writes in an email. "I froze! But I figured that the NYPD cut my bike locks because Vice President Joe Biden was next door speaking—though when I parked my bike just before 9 a.m. that morning, there was no indication of any police or fencing on the street that day."
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Old 09-30-2013, 12:16 PM   #17
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:49 AM   #18
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DA

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Howard’s office has repeatedly spent thousands on soirées, including a holiday awards gala in 2010 where “guests dined on $3,200 worth of sirloin tip beef roast, roasted turkey breast and mini-crab cakes with champagne sauce.” Other lowlights include spending $250 on tickets to see NBA player Dwight Howard and rap artist CeeLo Green, $800 to pay off eviction fees, $1,100 on flowers, $5,600 on a Christmas party, and $1,000 on alcoholic drinks for another holiday party. Howard has also paid over $16,000 in state and federal forfeiture funds on security for his own home.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:50 AM   #19
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DA

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Howard’s office has repeatedly spent thousands on soirées, including a holiday awards gala in 2010 where “guests dined on $3,200 worth of sirloin tip beef roast, roasted turkey breast and mini-crab cakes with champagne sauce.” Other lowlights include spending $250 on tickets to see NBA player Dwight Howard and rap artist CeeLo Green, $800 to pay off eviction fees, $1,100 on flowers, $5,600 on a Christmas party, and $1,000 on alcoholic drinks for another holiday party. Howard has also paid over $16,000 in state and federal forfeiture funds on security for his own home.
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Old 10-15-2013, 03:48 PM   #20
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Sound like a psychopath trick.
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