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Old 12-21-2007, 03:28 PM  
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FBI seizes $400K (cash) from a crime victim.

LimaOhio.com
LIMA — Two robbers who broke into Luther Ricks Sr.’s house this summer may have not gotten his life savings he had in a safe, but after the FBI confiscated it he may not get it back.

Ricks has tried to get an attorney to fight for the $402,767 but he has no money. Lima Police Department officers originally took the money from his house but the FBI stepped in and took it from the Police Department. Ricks has not been charged with a crime and was cleared in a fatal shooting of one of the robbers but still the FBI has refused to return the money, he said.

“They are saying I have to prove I made it,” he said.

The 63-year-old Ricks said he and his wife, Meredith, saved the money during their lifetime in which both worked while living a modest life.

A representative of the FBI could not be reached for comment.

During the fatal shooting incident inside the house June 30, Ricks and his son were being attacked by two men and his son was stabbed. Ricks broke free, grabbed a gun and shot to death 32-year-old Jyhno Rock inside his home at 939 Greenlawn Ave.

Police originally took the money after finding marijuana inside Ricks’ home, which Ricks said he had to help manage pain.

“I smoke marijuana. I have arthritis. I have shingles, a hip replacement,” he said.

Ricks, who is retired from Ohio Steel Foundry, said he always had a safe at home and never had a bank account.

American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Legal Director Jeff Gamso said Ricks has a tough road ahead, not impossible, but tough to get back his money.

“The law of forfeiture basically says you have to prove you’re innocent. It’s terrible, terrible law,” he said.

The law is tilted in favor of the FBI in that Ricks need not be charged with a crime and the FBI stands a good chance at keeping the money, Gamso said.

“The law will presume it is the result of ill-gotten gains,” he said.

Still Ricks can pursue it and possibly convince a judge he had the money through a lifetime of savings. Asking the FBI usually doesn’t work, he said.

“The FBI, before they would give it up, would want dated receipts,” he said.

If the FBI does keep the money, it would be put toward a law enforcement use, if the city of Lima does not fight for it because the city discovered it, Gamso said.

Lima Law Director Tony Geiger said he has not been asked to stake a legal claim for the money.
------------------------------------

Hopefully Ricks' employers kept extensive records. Is there no process in place for him to recover this money? this is so ridiculous, they took every last penny.
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Old 12-21-2007, 03:38 PM   #2
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Old 12-21-2007, 04:23 PM   #3
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Yeah, it seems ridiculous for him to forfeit this money, but what kind of moron keeps $400,000 cash in his house? Safe or no safe?

And, I wonder if someone was told that the money was there. If word got around that you have half a mill sitting in your house, some thug is going to show up and try to take it.
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Old 12-21-2007, 04:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cochise
Yeah, it seems ridiculous for him to forfeit this money, but what kind of moron keeps $400,000 cash in his house? Safe or no safe?
The kind of “moron” that doesn’t trust banks? I know that sounds ridiculous, but they are still out there.
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:01 PM   #5
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I wouldn't be at all surprised if the money was dirty, but I'm still opposed to the forfeiture laws, particularly when the forfeiture isn't in connection with a criminal conviction.
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:12 PM   #6
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This happens to truckers all the time.



http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5691887



Court: Money Seizure Correct Despite No Drugs

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Authorities were correct to assume nearly $125,000 they seized from a California man's car during a traffic stop may have been connected to narcotics trafficking, despite finding no drugs in the vehicle, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

The ruling from the three-judge panel overturned an earlier decision by U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Thalken in Nebraska in the case of Emiliano Gomez Gonzolez. A state trooper stopped Gonzolez for speeding on Interstate 80 on May 28, 2003.

Gonzolez's lawyer, Donald Yates of San Diego, said they would appeal the ruling. He said the government is treating unfairly people who don't have credit or bank accounts and are forced to do business in cash.

"They do not allow for anybody to have a lifestyle different from the average person in Nebraska," Yates said.

Gonzolez was driving a car that he told officers had been rented by a man named "Luis." Gonzolez also said he had never been arrested and that he was not carrying drugs, guns or large amounts of money.

After Gonzolez consented, the car was searched and $124,700 in cash was found in a cooler in the back seat. Authorities also learned that Gonzolez had once been arrested for driving while intoxicated and that the person registered as having rented the car was not named "Luis."

A drug dog later detected the scent of narcotics on the money and seat where the money was found.

Gonzolez testified that he lied about having the money because he believed that carrying large sums of money might be illegal. He said he secreted it inside the cooler because he feared it could be stolen while he was on the road.

He planned on using the money to buy a refrigerated truck in Chicago, Gonzolez said, but after arriving there by airplane from California he learned the truck had been sold. He decided to rent a car and drive back to California but needed someone else to rent the car because he had no credit card, he said.

Gonzolez also said he didn't tell officers about his previous arrest because he didn't think driving while intoxicated was a crime.

A federal judge in Nebraska said the evidence was not strong enough to link the money to drug trafficking, but the 8th Circuit Court on Thursday disagreed.

"We believe that the evidence as a whole demonstrates ... that there was a substantial connection between the currency and a drug trafficking offense," the court wrote. "We have adopted the commonsense view that bundling and concealment of large amounts of currency, combined with other suspicious circumstances, supports a connection between money and drug trafficking."

In dissent, Judge Donald Lay said the evidence provided was not enough to conclude the money was used in drug trafficking.

"At most, the evidence presented suggests the money seized may have been involved in some illegal activity - activity that is incapable of being ascertained on the record before us," Lay wrote. "Finally, the mere fact that the canine alerted officers to the presence of drug residue in a rental car, no doubt driven by dozens, perhaps scores, of patrons during the course of a given year, coupled with the fact that the alert came from the same location where the currency was discovered, does little to connect the money to a controlled substance offense."
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:13 PM   #7
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Asset Forfeiture: ACLU Sues DEA Over Trucker's Seized Cash

A trucker who lost nearly $24,000 in cash after it was seized by a New Mexico police officer and turned over to the DEA is suing the federal drug agency to get his money back. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) New Mexico affiliate is handling the case. It filed the lawsuit on August 23.

On August 8, truck driver Anastasio Prieto of El Paso was stopped at a weigh station on US Highway 54 just north of El Paso. A police officer there asked for permission to search the truck for "needles or cash in excess of $10,000," according to the ACLU. Prieto said he didn't have any needles, but he was carrying $23,700 in cash. Officers seized the money and turned it over to the DEA, while DEA agents photographed and fingerprinted Prieto despite his objections, then released him without charges after he had been detained for six hours. Border Patrol agents sicced drug-sniffing dogs on his truck, but found no evidence of illegal drugs.

In the lawsuit, the ACLU argues that the state police and DEA violated Prieto's Fourth Amendment right to be free from unlawful search and seizure by taking his money without cause and by fingerprinting and photographing him. "Mere possession of approximately $23,700 does not establish probable cause for a search or seizure," the lawsuit said.

DEA agents told Prieto that to get his money back, he would have to prove it was his and not the proceeds of illegal drug sales. That process could take up to a year, the agents said.

But New Mexico ACLU state director Peter Simonson told the Associated Press Prieto needed his money now to pay bills. "The government took Mr. Prieto's money as surely as if he had been robbed on a street corner at night," Simonson said. "In fact, being robbed might have been better. At least then the police would have treated him as the victim of a crime instead of as a perpetrator."

According to the lawsuit, Prieto does not like banks and carries his savings as cash.
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:15 PM   #8
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Money seized during traffic stop
ASSOCIATED PRESS


BROWNSVILLE (AP) - Cameron County sheriff's deputies confiscated about $154,000 after noticing bundles of cash on the floorboard of a truck during a traffic stop.

The truck was stopped Sunday as part of a law enforcement push to get more people to wear seat belts, Sheriff Omar Lucio said. the driver and passenger claimed to have cashed a check in South Texas and were returning to Mexico with the money.

The money was confiscated. No charges were immediately filed.
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Old 12-21-2007, 09:49 PM   #9
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Sorry Teej most non paulites aren't much for facts.
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KILLER_CLOWN
Sorry Teej most non paulites aren't much for facts.
Just curious. Which facts aren't we much for?
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco John
Money seized during traffic stop
ASSOCIATED PRESS


BROWNSVILLE (AP) - Cameron County sheriff's deputies confiscated about $154,000 after noticing bundles of cash on the floorboard of a truck during a traffic stop.

The truck was stopped Sunday as part of a law enforcement push to get more people to wear seat belts, Sheriff Omar Lucio said. the driver and passenger claimed to have cashed a check in South Texas and were returning to Mexico with the money.

The money was confiscated. No charges were immediately filed.

So they were illegals?
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Old 12-22-2007, 10:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cochise
Yeah, it seems ridiculous for him to forfeit this money, but what kind of moron keeps $400,000 cash in his house? Safe or no safe?

And, I wonder if someone was told that the money was there. If word got around that you have half a mill sitting in your house, some thug is going to show up and try to take it.
It doesn't seem ridiculous, it IS ridiculous.

The burden of proof is on the accuser, IIRC.

This forfeiture bullsh** turns that on its head, and makes everyone a free target for their local LEA.

WTF ever happened to "Innocent until proven guilty"?

Yeah, the guy is an idiot for keeping it. Being an idiot isn't a crime. Theft (which IMO the FBI is performing) is.

Frickin tax farming...
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Old 12-22-2007, 11:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cochise
Yeah, it seems ridiculous for him to forfeit this money, but what kind of moron keeps $400,000 cash in his house? Safe or no safe?

And, I wonder if someone was told that the money was there. If word got around that you have half a mill sitting in your house, some thug is going to show up and try to take it.


It's funny... This is the second time I've seen the issue of the government illegally seizing money that doesn't belong to them - and both times that this has come up, rather than say anything meaningful against the thieves that took it, you criticized the victims being stolen from.
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Old 12-22-2007, 11:47 AM   #14
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Sometimes this place completely amazes me. This is one of those times. To call the guy a moron because he wants to keep his money in a safe and condone the FBI stealing it is beyond words. I don't even know what to say. The forfeiture laws in this country are a crime.
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Old 12-22-2007, 11:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco John
It's funny... This is the second time I've seen the issue of the government illegally seizing money that doesn't belong to them - and both times that this has come up, rather than say anything meaningful against the thieves that took it, you criticized the victims being stolen from.
Actually, I did say something against them, I said that "it seems ridiculous for him to forfeit this money". But, continue to see whatever you want to see, or hope to.
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