asset forfeiture

11 Stories

Assets Seized by Cops Top Those Stolen by Burglars

In 2014, more property was taken via legal civil asset forfeiture than burglary

(Newser) - When it comes to taking property that isn’t theirs, burglars are facing some stiff competition: law enforcement officers. In 2014, the Washington Post reports, the federal Treasury and Justice departments accumulated more than $5 billion via civil asset forfeiture—the controversial practice of law enforcement seizing cash and property... More »

No Crime? No Problem. DEA Nabs Guy's Life Savings

Joseph Rivers fighting $16K seizure under civil forfeiture laws

(Newser) - Last month, Joseph Rivers boarded a Michigan train bound for Los Angeles with $16,000 in cash and a dream of making a music video. Instead, DEA agents, who asked to search Rivers' bags during a stop in New Mexico, seized his life savings still in a bank envelope, suspecting... More »

Why Cops Can (and Do) Take People's Stuff

'Civil forfeiture' fills law enforcement coffers every year

(Newser) - A drive through Tenaha, Texas, can cost you thousands of dollars—because police in this sleepy town are known for pulling over out-of-state cars and confiscating anything they want. Highway robbery? Maybe, but it's called "civil forfeiture," a legal practice that allows police to take money or... More »

Late Madoff Investor to Return $7.2B to Victims

Nearly half cash losses now recovered

(Newser) - The pool of funds available to Bernie Madoff's victims is about to expand by $7.2 billion, thanks to a deal with the biggest beneficiary of the Ponzi scheme. The estate of Florida philanthropist Jeffry Picower has agreed to “return every penny received from almost 35 years of investing... More »

Madoff's Wife to Give Up $80M; Bernie Hit for $170B

(Newser) - Ruth Madoff struck a deal with federal prosecutors today to forfeit nearly $80 million in assets and retain only $2.5 million in cash, the Wall Street Journal reports. The wife of swindler Bernard Madoff reached the agreement with the US attorney's office in Manhattan. Meanwhile, a US judge entered... More »

Judge Okays Bankruptcy for Bernie Madoff

Makes personal assets more easily available to victims

(Newser) - Bernard Madoff’s victims can force him into bankruptcy and seek any assets that weren’t proceeds of his crimes, a federal judge ruled today, over objections from federal prosecutors, the SEC, and the trustee overseeing the bankruptcy of Madoff’s firm. The judge ruled that bankruptcy had the best... More »

France Will Battle US for Madoff Chateau

Rival prosecutors preparing to grab Riviera pad

(Newser) - A legal tug-of-war is getting underway over the Madoffs' Riviera chateau, reports the New York Post. Bernard and Ruth Madoff's $1 million French pad is among the assets US federal prosecutors want the couple to forfeit to help reimburse scammed investors, but French authorities—who have opened a criminal inquiry... More »

Madoff Lists $826M in Assets

List reveals couple's homes, cash, luxury goods mostly in Ruth's name

(Newser) - A list of the Madoffs' assets released yesterday falls a long way short of the tens of billions investors and prosecutors are looking for, the Wall Street Journal reports. A $700 million valuation for Bernard Madoff's investment business made up the bulk of the roughly $826 million in assets listed,... More »

Texas Cops Accused of Racist Highway Robbery

Black motorists given the choice of handing over property or facing felony charges

(Newser) - Cops in a small Texas town are accused of seizing the property of innocent black motorists to pad their salaries, the Chicago Tribune reports. A federal lawsuit alleges that Tehana police have abused the state's asset-forfeiture law—intended to penalize drug-runners—to extort money and other valuables from out-of-town drivers... More »

Ruth Madoff in Court Battle to Keep $70M

Lawyers argue wife's assets have nothing to do with scam

(Newser) - Ruth Madoff is battling in court to hang onto $70 million in assets she claims have nothing to do with her husband's alleged $50 billion scam. Lawyers for the Madoffs are seeking to protect the assets—including $17 million in cash, $45 million in bonds, and the $7 million Manhattan... More »

Where Does All That Seized Money Go?

Asset forfeiture: an ugly side of the drug war

(Newser) - What would you do with a few million in drug money? Last year, state and federal authorities seized about $2 billion from Mexican smugglers. The feds have to put any seized money into a dedicated fund, but the rules are looser for states. In Texas and Georgia, for example, sheriffs... More »

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