Super Lawyers
The Netional Trial Lawyers - Top 40 Under 40
Martindale-Hubbell
Avvo Clients Choice
Avvo Top Contributor
Avvo Rating

Articles Tagged with Equitable Sharing

Published on:

car-1531273_1920-300x200Almost two and a half years after they seized $627,000 in a traffic stop, Missouri law enforcement has agreed to return approximately two-thirds of the cash to Lu Li, who claimed the money.

As I reported last year, on January 10, 2017, police pulled over Zhimin Peng when he was speeding while driving through Boone County in central Missouri. Peng explained to police that he was on a road trip from Chicago to San Francisco with his friend, Ting Wei Huang. On inspecting the vehicle, police officers found $627,000 in cash in several duffle bags. Peng said his friend Lu Li had lent him the money to buy a house.
Continue reading

Published on:

squad-car-1209719_1920-300x162A report released yesterday questions the value of civil asset forfeiture as a means to reduce crime. While proponents of forfeiture tout its ability to target drug traffickers, the report argues that forfeiture as a practice has not led to reduced drug use. The report also argues that that revenue from forfeitures has only led to a “very small” increase in the number of crimes solved.

In its report, “Fighting Crime or Raising Revenue,” the Institute for Justice looked at ten years of data relating to the federal equitable sharing program. Civil asset forfeiture is a procedure whereby law enforcement agencies may take possession of an individual’s property if it is suspected of being involved in a crime. Equitable sharing is a specific form of asset forfeiture where local or state law enforcement team up with the feds on a case.
Continue reading

Published on:

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.”
Continue reading

Published on:

bills-cash-collection-47344-300x212Former Illinois police chief Michael Newsome, who has been charged with the theft of over $200,000 in civil asset forfeiture funds, has waived his right to jury trial. Newsome was first arrested in 2012 and has been out on bond ever since.

Newsome has been charged with seven felonies. The charges include the theft of over $100,000 in government property, official misconduct, and the misappropriation of funds. The thefts are alleged to have occurred between 2007 and 2012.
Continue reading

Published on:

justice-2060093_1920-300x200Attorney General Jeff Sessions has resigned effective immediately. Sessions’ Chief of Staff, Matthew Whitaker, has been named as acting attorney general in his place. Sessions was a champion of civil asset forfeiture—he reinstated a federal forfeiture program that had been restricted by Eric Holder, his predecessor. Without Sessions at the Department of Justice (DOJ), there is uncertainty over the future of this program.

Sessions faced bipartisan opposition for his championing of civil asset forfeiture. “I’m amazed these people don’t get it. We had a reform in early 2001… relieved some of the concerns from our libertarians,” said Sessions in 2017. The Obama administration, he continued, “actually curtailed this program for the last several years, but we’re going to keep it out there. And as long as we can, we will be doing it.”
Continue reading