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Articles Posted in Variety

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pexels-mike-4639907-300x168Tyson Timbs, of Marion, IN, has been at the center of an asset forfeiture case for eight years now. His case is being heard by the Indiana Supreme Court this month, where state prosecutors are once more going to convince the court that the state should keep Timbs’ Land Rover SUV.

In 2013, he was arrested in Marion, IN, after he allegedly sold heroin to undercover officers. The accused pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year of house arrest, five years of probation, and $1,200 in fines, which he paid. The state also used asset forfeiture to seize his Land Rover, which he had reportedly bought with the proceeds of his father’s life insurance policy.

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pexels-erik-mclean-4062509-300x200Minnesota lawmakers are reportedly making another attempt to reform a controversial state statute that allows law enforcement agencies to seize cash and property they believe is connected to criminal activity—even if the owner is not actually charged with a crime.

The use of civil forfeiture to seize cash and vehicles in Minnesota has been controversial for years largely because, under the current system, owners do not have to be convicted or even charged with a crime to lose their property.

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katie-moum-o0kbc907i20-unsplash-300x200South Carolina’s lawmakers listened to testimony today on proposed changes to civil forfeiture laws in the state. Members of the General Assembly are making another attempt to revamp the state’s civil forfeiture statutes, which are facing a legal challenge in the state Supreme Court.

“Citizens are having money taken off of them,” said Rep. Seth Rose (D-District 72), who sits on the committee trying to change forfeiture laws in South Carolina, in a press release. “And there may not even be the requisite nexus to criminal activity, but their money has been seized, and they don’t have the means or power to fight for that chunk of change back.”

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pexels-alfonso-escalante-2832251-300x200Asset forfeiture laws can be a complicated maze for experienced attorneys on the best of days. When an average person is caught up in that maze, they can end up facing a system where every turn can lead to a dead end. That was the situation Terry and Ria Platt found themselves in 2016 when the Navajo County Drug Task Force used civil forfeiture to seize their 2012 Volkswagen Jetta on Interstate 40 near Holbrook.

Police reportedly found a small amount of marijuana in the vehicle, along with drug paraphernalia and cash, but they didn’t have anything to do with those items. They allegedly tried to explain that they had loaned the vehicle to their adult son, who acknowledged ownership of the items. But unfortunately for the couple, Arizona civil forfeiture laws allow local and state law enforcement agencies to confiscate property they believe was used for criminal activity without worrying about formalities like an arrest and conviction.

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pexels-pixabay-259132-300x225The U.S. Department of Justice announced the government has collected $7 million of illegally obtained Iranian cash using civil forfeiture.

According to the DOJ press release, the funds are the United States’ share of a civil forfeiture investigation into a complex global conspiracy that sought to violate U.S.-imposed international economic sanctions on Iran. The alleged conspiracy involved several Iranian citizens and a U.S. citizen, who purportedly transferred an estimated $1 billion worth of Iranian-owned assets to accounts across the globe.

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