According to Martin Armstrong of Armstrong Economics, police seized roughly $4.5 billion in forfeiture asset cases in 2014. The total amount of goods taken by burglars was $3.9 billion.
The civil forfeiture asset allows for law enforcement officials to seize assets from a person they suspect is committing a crime, even without being charged of any wrongdoing.
A 24-year-old college kid, Charles Clark, had his whole savings of $11,000 seized at a Kentucky airport because his luggage smelled like marijuana. Although police did not find any drugs or weapons in his possession, his money was essentially taken because he could not provide documentation for how he acquired it. Clark claimed it took him 5 years to save the $11,000.
A convenience store owner also got his life savings stripped away from him. Lyndon McLellan had his $107,000 savings snatched up by the IRS. The privately owned institution [IRS] did not like how McLellan made his deposits in chunks less than $10,000 at a time. Although it is not illegal to do so, the IRS felt that McLellan was hiding something and took all of his money.
The ironic factor is that one man did not use a financial banking system while the other did. Either way, having large amounts of cash could potentially make you a target for police or the IRS.
Money is not the only thing seized by police. Homes, boats, jewelry, and cars are among the common items taken.
In order to get any of the items back, you have to prove that it was not involved in a crime, which can be pretty difficult to do. I would like to think that the fact someone hasn’t been charged in a crime would be proof enough. But I guess that would be too much like common sense, wouldn’t it?
What would you do if police took your stuff without charging you with a crime? Should this be legal?