Vice Squad
Thursday, April 29, 2004
Asset Forfeiture Extends Beyond Drugs and Prostitution

Yes, gambling offenses can also make big winners out of police departments, as a recent bust in Lee County, Florida, demonstrates: "Millions of dollars worth of money and property was confiscated during the bust of a gambling operation that was under investigation for over 17 months. Part of that money seized will go back to local law enforcement to help fight crime."

There's more: "Police say this multi-million dollar bust could mean a big pay off for taxpayers. By law, agencies get to keep a percentage of seized money and assets....

Several federal agencies including the FBI, IRS and Secret Service will also get a cut of the seized money."

No word in the linked article on the legal basis for the asset seizure in this case. As the federales are involved, presumably this Florida seizure falls under one of the categories listed on the Department of Justice website. For background and some of the horrors of asset forfeiture (particularly of the civil, in rem variety), see this website maintained by Forfeiture Endangers American Rights.

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