Miladis Salgado of Miami, FL, had $15,000 seized from her home in 2015 after what turned out to be an erroneous drug tip. The Miami woman has worked to get her property back and recoup the costs of defending herself in court. While the government has given back her property, she is still financially worse for wear, and some are calling for the US Supreme Court to examine her case. This is just the latest in a series of high-profile wrongful seizure cases that are causing scrutiny of the practice of civil asset forfeiture.
The said resident was legally separated but still living with her ex-husband Wilson Colorado when the raid occurred. At the time, the Drug Enforcement Agency was tipped off to allegations of drug trafficking against her ex-husband.
The ex-husband worked for AnnChery Fajas Inc., a Columbian company that makes fajas, a type of waist-training clothing that became highly popular following recommendations by high-profile celebrities, including Kim Kardashian. After a falling-out with the company, wherein AnnChery accused the ex-husband and a co-worker of stealing merchandise, he emptied his bank account, choosing to store the funds in his home instead.
Because of the difficulties with AnnChery, at the time of the raid, the ex-husband had more than $100,000 in cashier’s checks and more than $50,000 in cash in his home. He was reportedly going to use these funds to help support his own garment business, but they were all seized. The Miami woman had $15,000 seized in the raid. The funds reportedly included allocations for her daughter’s upcoming quinceanera, which she had to cancel. She was not alleged to be part of any criminal activity, but her property was still seized. However, the woman has had to spend considerable time and resources to fight this wrongful seizure.
The woman, who has had to use the court system to recover her seized money, is now attempting to get the federal government to pay her attorney’s fees for every legal proceeding she has participated in as a result of the seizure. Unfortunately for the Miami woman, she is left with little recourse but to take her case to the Supreme Court. Due a dismissal of the case by the Justice Department, she was found to be not entitled to attorney’s fees, and one third of her recovery was taken by her contingency fee attorney for legal fees.
The allegations against her ex-husband and his former coworker by AnnChery appear to be completely unrelated to this case. It is not immediately clear whether the company took legal action.
In Florida, the amount of money the state has amassed through forfeiture is considerable. From 2009 – 2014, the state amassed over $117 million dollars in combined currency, real property, and vehicles through this practice incidental to criminal cases. Florida law currently requires law enforcement agencies to file yearly civil forfeiture report detailing what has been seized under this scheme.
South Florida Workers’ Compensation and Civil Forfeiture Attorney
If you or your loved one has been the victim of civil forfeiture, you should hire an attorney. Contact us to set up a free initial consultation and work with one of South Florida’s most experienced civil forfeiture defense attorneys.
Source: 6.12.19 Miladis Salgado Seizure