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Articles Posted in Money

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rope-1149730_1920-300x200In January, Denis Palamarchuk, age 36, was driving a semitruck when he was pulled over by police. The truck contained nearly 7,000 pounds of hemp. Law enforcement arrested Palamarchuk on a drug trafficking charge and also seized both the hemp and the truck using civil asset forfeiture.

While law enforcement officers believed the material in the truck to be marijuana, Palamarchuk attempted to explain that it was, in fact, industrial hemp. Although cannabis and hemp are closely related plants, hemp contains only a small amount of the psychoactive agent which makes cannabis so potent. Industrial hemp is used in a wide variety of products, including foods, beauty products, and rope. In December 2018, President Trump signed the Farm Bill which made hemp legal federally.
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calculator-1680905_1920-300x200The operator of an employment agency in central Massachusetts has been arrested for allegedly concealing his company’s payroll in order to lower his workers’ compensation insurance dues.

Tam Vuong, age 43, ran employment agency UT Services Inc., although it is his father, Ut, who appears as the company’s president and treasurer on the business registration. Vuong allegedly told UT Services’ workers’ compensation insurance carrier that the business had just one employee and a payroll of only $50,000 per year. UT Services, in fact, had several dozen employees and a considerably higher payroll.
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highway-828985_1920-300x200Between 2016 and 2017, police officers in Phelps County, Missouri seized over $2.5 million during traffic stops along a 20-mile stretch of I-44. Law enforcement did not file any criminal charges for those seizures.

The property was taken using a legal procedure known as civil asset forfeiture. This controversial procedure allows law enforcement to seize an individual’s property if said property is suspected of being involved in a crime.

In criminal procedures, proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” is required to gain a conviction. As civil asset forfeiture is a civil and not a criminal process, the standard of proof required to permanently take property is usually lower. In Missouri, all that is required is “a preponderance of the evidence.”
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boston-3690818_1920-300x200A construction company owner in Massachusetts has been indicted for allegedly concealing payroll in order to reduce his workers’ compensation insurance premiums by tens of thousands of dollars.

Anner Valentin Amaya, age 45, of Revere, a city north of Boston, is the owner of Valetin’s General Contractors Inc. which also does business as Valentin’s Home Improvement. His company has worked on home renovations in the Boston and Cape Cod areas. The Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts began looking into Amaya’s business practices before referring the investigation to the state Attorney General’s Office.
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squad-car-1209719_1920-300x162In May 2016, Braden Carlisle was traveling with friends from Charlotte, South Carolina to Myrtle Beach for the weekend. Carlisle was pulled over by police, who arrested him and seized the $6,600 in cash that was in the car with them.

“It scared the heck out of me,” said Carlisle. “I was like, this is insane. This is insane. This is worse than the stuff you see on the movies.”
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