Articles Tagged with money

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State Representative Joy San Buenaventura is taking on civil asset forfeiture laws in Hawaii. Buenaventura has been waiting nearly two years for the audit, which will help legislators move forward on possible changes to the state’s laws.

Hawaii has one of the worst civil asset forfeiture laws in the nation, according to the Institute for Justice, a non-profit libertarian, civil liberties, and public interest law firm that often takes on high-profile cases pro-bono.

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fremichael-300x225The city of Denver has recently come under fire from local activists for its civil asset forfeiture laws after an investigation published by Denver’s Fox News affiliate.

The investigation looked at the city’s practices of property confiscation under a statute called the Public Nuisance Abatement Ordinance, which allows the city of Denver to confiscate property from individuals accused of crimes for which they might later be judged innocent. Although the ordinance is not new by any means, it has recently come into contention after the Denver attorney’s office made $2.4 million in car seizures last year.

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90367currencyLdo-225x300It was a big day late last month for the U.S. Customs and Border Protections (CBP), as it seized a significant amount of crystal meth and unreported currency with a value of more than $1 million in Laredo, Texas.

On a typical day, the CBP processes over 1 million passengers and pedestrians. In the 2015 fiscal year, the CBP performed over 2 million drug seizures and seized nearly $20 million in currency.

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Police-Forfeiture-300x199Civil asset forfeiture laws were originally intended as a way to fight drug trafficking. The laws originated and grew in the 1970s and 1980s as law enforcement agencies lacked a way to diminish the operations of resilient drug trafficking operations.

But the laws have also created for law enforcement agencies a lucrative stream of revenue, and the numbers show just how common civil forfeiture has become in the United States.

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Harlan Decoste, Kerby Luna, Francis Jeudy, Frantz Decoste, and Andy CherrelusHarlan Decoste, Kerby Luna, Francic Jeudy, Frantz Decoste, all of Miramar, and Andy Cherrelus of Miami, Florida have been arrested for running one of the biggest tax refund fraud schemes in U.S. history. The five men allegedly defrauded $108 million from the IRS using a startup rap recording label as a front. They face identity theft and income tax fraud charges. News sources did not specify attorneys for any of the men.

Authorities discovered the alleged scheme after the group reported an armed home invasion robbery at their Miramar house in 2013. Detectives who dealt with the home invasion case claim to have found over 600 debit cards in other people’s names, bundles of cash, expensive jewelry, and other valuable items in the house.

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