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Articles Tagged with Equitable Sharing Program

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josh-appel-NeTPASr-bmQ-unsplash-300x225Local police in North Carolina and U.S. Homeland Security agents raided multiple video gambling businesses in two counties and seized almost $760,000 using asset forfeiture.

For over a year, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) received reports of alleged illegal video gambling operations in the county. There were a variety of complaints made regarding these alleged businesses. Families were accusing members of spending their paychecks or COVID-19 stimulus checks at these purported gambling sites. There were also reports of armed individuals around these areas, patrons getting mugged as soon as they stepped out, drug trafficking and overdoses, and more.

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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.
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The Department of Justice has suspended the federal civil asset forfeiture program in Palmview, Texas while it investigates potential misappropriation of funds.

Palmview, a town of 5,500 people, received about $47,000 in funds in 2017 from the DOJ’s Equitable Sharing Program. This is a tiny amount compared to fund received by larger cities in the state. Last year, law enforcement agencies across Texas received $29 million from the program. These funds, however, are at the core of the city’s corruption investigation.
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