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Articles Tagged with Pennsylvania

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pexels-tim-samuel-5835325-300x200A recent case of roadside civil asset forfeiture put $346,000 in cash at stake. On November 17 of last year, federal officials pulled over a vehicle for an alleged moving violation. According to law enforcement records, the vehicle was a rental car cruising along in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania.

The driver was a woman who allegedly didn’t have a driver’s license. When asked, she allegedly showed the officers her Kuwaiti passport and an identification card that was not in English. The officer who performed the stop confronted two passengers in the vehicle and asked where they were headed. The police report indicates that the passengers seemed nervous and that their stories didn’t match.

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pexels-karolina-grabowska-4386431-300x200Two years ago, Wei Lin and Jian Yang, both of Texas, were pulled over and searched by Pennsylvania State Police. They collectively had over $850,000 seized from them by FBI agents.

In both cases, the cash was seized using civil asset forfeiture—a legal practice that allows law enforcement agencies to confiscate cash, vehicles, real estate, and more if they believe it is connected to criminal activity. FBI agents reportedly suspected the cash was drug money, even though there is no record of criminal charges being filed against the suspects.

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Philadelphia, PA

A recent report on the state of civil forfeiture in the U.S. has given Pennsylvania a near-failing grade, calling for greater reforms for the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws.

Civil asset forfeiture is a legal tool that gives law enforcement agencies the ability to seize assets from individuals suspected of committing a crime or being involved in illegal activity, even if the property owner has not been formally charged with wrongdoing.

In December 2020, the Institute for Justice (IJ), a Virginia-based public interest law firm, released the third edition of its “Policing for Profit” report, a document alleging unwarranted punitive seizures through the civil asset forfeiture process across the country.

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markus-spiske-5gGcn2PRrtc-unsplash-300x200The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has announced charges against a Northampton County man accused of swindling over 50 victims out of more than a $1 million by selling them worthless stocks.

Robert McCabe, 76, of Bangor, PA, was charged with multiple counts of securities fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud. Attorney information was not available.

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pepi-stojanovski-MJSFNZ8BAXw-unsplash-300x188A drug task force in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is missing roughly $150,000 from a civil asset forfeiture fund in what “appears to be an internal theft,” District Attorney Heather Adams told the press Monday.

Adams announced June 1 that an internal audit of the Lancaster County Drug Task Force revealed that someone has stolen up to $150,000 from the task force’s asset forfeiture fund. She didn’t name any potential suspects, but she did indicate that it was likely someone with access to and knowledge of the drug task force.

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