The alleged crimes collectively stole more than $250,000 in workers’ wages and benefits. They include the nonpayment of more than $58,000 for unemployment insurance fund contributions and failure to pay more than $133,000 to the state’s fund for workers’ compensation, prosecutors said. Two of the defendants also allegedly dumped polluted water into a public storm water drain.
Shortly after unveiling reforms to civil forfeiture procedures in Suffolk County on Long Island, New York, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the county. The lawsuit argues that the county has been inappropriately disposing of vehicles seized using civil asset forfeiture.
Civil asset forfeiture is the legal process where law enforcement may take possession of an individual’s property if that property is suspected of being involved in a crime. In most states, neither a criminal conviction nor even criminal charges are required in order for property to be seized. In New York, 60 percent of the proceeds from civil asset forfeitures go to law enforcement. There is little oversight on how this money is spent. This has led to criticisms from across the political spectrum that law enforcement has an incentive to seize property.