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Silver Conversationalist

Think it can't happen to you? [Civil Asset Forfeiture]

Edited to change the Subject. I think this is such an egregious issue in general, and no one is exempt from falling victim, as this incident shows. I want to bring people's attention to this... this does not happen just to sneaky criminals, it happens to honest people as well.

 

 

An article in the Washington Post the other day is very disturbing. It's another example of "civil forfeiture" of ones own assets (cash. money) and is particularly egregious as it occurred at an domestic airport at TSA security.

 

Briefly, 79 year old guy who suffers from dementia had his life's savings of $79,000 taken, in cash, by DEA agents at a Pittsburgh airport. There are more details, I just wanted to set the hook.

 

All seniors need to be aware of situations like this, in my opinion. Older seniors are vulnerable to all sorts of fraud, often deal strictly in cash, and are perfect patsies for fraud, whether by actual criminals or government criminals.

 

The guy asked his visiting daughter to take his cash (in a Tupperware box) and open a joint bank account. She ran out of time for this task (I can imagine her rushing around taking care of things for pops) and was going to take it back home with her and open a joint account there (I don't think joint accounts like this...parent/child are good, risky for the elder, risky too for the child if parent has dementia and runs up debts).

 

The box of cash was noted in the TSA scan of her carry-on bag and they called DEA "got a Live One here for you, Steve". The DEA agents questioned the daugher, called her father..who with dementia cannot really speak for himself (I know well how this goes, from family experience). Due to the conflicting explanation of father and daughter DEA agents determine "yep, drug money" and confiscate it. It will probably require a lawyer and time and money for these people to get pop's money back.

 

Really, us old people need to be aware of this! AARP should put an article in the magazine. This is strictly a scam by governments at various levels.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/the-dea-seized-her-fathers-life-savings-at-an-air...

 

 

A forum thread from early last year is worthwhile to review 

https://community.aarp.org/t5/Politics-Current-Events/SCOTUS-UNANIMOUS-AGAINST-ASSET-FORFEITURE/m-p/...

 

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Silver Conversationalist

This particular instance of "authority overreach" has a happy ending. "the DEA sent [the owners of the confiscated cash] a letter saying 'after further review, a decision has been made to return the property.'"

 

The lawsuit on behalf of the owners continues.

 

https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/03/04/dea-returns-life-savings-seized-at-pittsburgh-internation...

 

https://ij.org/press-release/pittsburgh-retiree-to-finally-get-life-savings-back-from-the-federal-go...

 

The article at second link states in part:

 

"Without offering any apology for the harm caused by confiscating Terry’s life savings for six months, the DEA informed the Institute for Justice (IJ) via letter that: 'After further review, a decision has been made to return the property.'"

 

Note the "without apology". The last I read previously was essentially "after further review, we at the DEA have decided to keep your money." Now they have changed their minds.

 

The letter mentioned is shown here: https://ij.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/REDACTED_02.28.2020-DEA-Letter.pdf

 

 

This news prompted me to contribute some cash to the Institute for Justice today. When I spoke with them they indicated they've been involved in several similar lawsuits and others are ongoing, as well as a class-action lawsuit against the government agencies involved in these practices. 

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Honored Social Butterfly

"Without offering any apology for the harm caused by confiscating Terry’s life savings for six months, the DEA informed the Institute for Justice (IJ) via letter that: 'After further review, a decision has been made to return the property.'"

 

Without apology or interest no doubt.

 

Make no mistake, Civil Asset Forfeiture is a racket,  it's not just bad policy, it's a criminal enterprise under the guise of law enforcement.

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Honored Social Butterfly

I don't believe that civil asset forfeiture should be allowed. It is essentially telling someone that you must prove your innocence even though we have no proof that you did anything illegal.

 

The government should have to prove that a crime was committed before seizing anything.

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