Articles Posted in Money

Published on:

Last week, Hawaii’s state auditor released a report outlining systematic mismanagement of the state’s civil asset forfeiture program between 2005 and 2017. The audit revealed that the Office of the Attorney General, which oversees the program, improperly managed funds, did not correctly account for seized property, and did not allocate $2 million required to go to drug prevention.

As State Auditor Les Kondo explained, “With the bar to seize and forfeit private property in Hawaii so low, the department must manage the program with a heightened degree of transparency and accountability. … We found that not to be the case.”
Continue reading

Published on:

In 2016, police in New Hampshire stopped a car for speeding and tailgating. They seized the $46,000 in cash they discovered inside. More than 18 months after it was taken, a man claiming to be the rightful owner of the money is petitioning to have it returned to him.

On October 3, 2016, state troopers pulled over a red Hyundai registered in Massachusetts. The police report stated that the driver, Alexander Temple, had shaking hands and looked nervous. Temple gave permission for the trooper to examine his car. In the trunk, the officer found the $46,000 in 20-dollar bills neatly wrapped up inside a Whole Foods bag.
Continue reading

Published on:

In 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol seized $58,000 from an Ohio man. They have not returned the money, nor have they charged him with a crime.

Rustem Kazazi and his family are originally from Albania in southern Europe, where Rustem worked as a police officer. In 2005, the Kazazis moved to the U.S. when they were awarded visas through the State Department lottery program. They settled in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2010, the family became naturalized U.S. citizens.
Continue reading

Published on:

On paper, Missouri’s civil asset forfeiture laws are better than most. State law requires all proceeds from property and cash seizures be used to fund public schools in the state. However, law enforcement is using a loophole to keep the vast majority of the proceeds for themselves.

Since 2015, Missouri law enforcement seized property and cash valued at $19 million. Of that total, less than 2 percent—only $340,000—found its way to schools.
Continue reading

Published on:

Civil asset forfeiture has become a central issue in the Republican races for attorney general and governor in Alabama. While incumbent Attorney General Steve Marshall has expressed support for the process and Governor Kay Ivey has shown little enthusiasm for reform, their opponents in the primary agree reform is needed.

The Alabama legislature recently attempted to reform civil asset forfeiture in the state. The first draft of the legislation would have required a criminal conviction before property could be seized. Law enforcement opposed this approach. In response, a revised bill was proposed, one which was more limited in scope but would have given more oversight to the process. However, even this limited bill failed.
Continue reading