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  1. #1
    Good Enough
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    12.16.17 @ 10:40 PM
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    Default Cops Can Now Seize Money From Debit Cards

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/institut.../#2a23da972c8c

    Oklahoma Cops Can Now Seize Money From Prepaid Debit Cards, Without Filing Criminal Charges


    Nick SibillaNick Sibilla, Contributor

    Law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma have purchased devices that allow police to seize and freeze funds electronically, which may dramatically expand their power to permanently confiscate property using asset forfeiture. Manufactured by the Texas-based ERAD Group, the devices work on “open loop” prepaid debit cards, like those offered by Visa or American Express. However, “debit cards attached to a valid checking account or valid credit cards cannot be processed” by an ERAD (Electronic Recovery and Access to Data) system.

    One contract obtained by Oklahoma Watch states that the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety will pay ERAD Group $5,000 for implementation and $1,500 for training on how to use the devices. In addition, ERAD Group will also receive a “processing fee” of 7.7% of all money seized using the readers. That incentive to seize also mimics Oklahoma law, which allows police and prosecutors to keep up to 100% of the proceeds from forfeited property, even if the owner was never convicted or indicted. Records obtained by the Institute for Justice show that in 2012, 70% of all forfeiture expenditures in Oklahoma funded salaries for law enforcement.

    The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety says it installed 16 prepaid card readers last month but has yet to seize cash with them.

    ERAD devices originated with a “prime development contract” awarded by the Department of Homeland Security, which claimed drug runners and couriers were increasingly turning to prepaid cards as an alternative to transporting cash. According to ERAD Group:

    Even with probable cause, [customs officials] had no way of identifying the card value, freezing the funds or seizing the money at the point of arrest. ERAD-Prepaid™ solved that problem by condensing a process that takes many days, weeks or months into one that takes a few seconds.

    Yet prepaid cards are also becoming increasingly popular among ordinary Americans. In 2012, $65 billion was loaded onto these cards, more than double the amount stored in 2009. A 2014 survey by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that about 12 million people use prepaid debit cards at least monthly. Compared to the general population, prepaid cardholders are more likely to be younger, renters, single, African American and earn less than $25,000. One in seven users even received their prepaid cards either from their employers or a government entity.

    In fact, over 40% of prepaid card users do not currently have a checking account. As one survey respondent explained, “I don’t want to walk around with my life savings in my pocket to lose it or be robbed.”

    In other words, the ERAD devices will most likely disproportionately affect lower-income Americans while further making a mockery of due process. A presentation by ERAD Group President T. Jack Williams even claimed that “individuals do not have privacy rights with magnetic stripe cards” and that a police scan of those cards “does not violate an individual’s fourth amendment rights.”

    “It’s scary to know that technology even exists and that government agencies are using it without an arrest, without a warrant,” state Sen. Kyle Loveless told Oklahoma Watch. Loveless had previously introduced a bill that would have required a criminal conviction to forfeit property in most cases. But after facing forceful lobbying from law enforcement groups, his bill failed to receive even a committee hearing.

    Making it easier to allow cops to seize even more property is just opening a Pandora’s box. That is especially true in Oklahoma, which has been a breeding ground for forfeiture scandals. One prosecutor used forfeiture funds to pay off his student loans, while another lived rent-free in a seized house. In late March, an Oklahoma grand jury indicted a county sheriff and deputy for extortion and bribery over a cash seizure resulting from a traffic stop.

    And in a case that made national headlines, the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office seized over $50,000 from a Christian rock band that was raising money for a Burmese nonprofit school and a Thai orphanage. Outrageously, the county district attorney indicted Eh Wah, the band’s manager who was transporting the cash, for possessing drug proceeds, a felony in Oklahoma. Yet deputies never found any drugs or any evidence linking Eh Wah to the drug trade. Only after the Institute for Justice announced it was representing Eh Wah and the other innocent owners did the county relent: It returned the cash and dropped the bogus charge.

    “Not every civil forfeiture victim is a Christian orphanage or a world-renowned Burmese Christian band,” IJ Attorney Dan Alban said in a statement, “but when even their money isn’t safe, no one’s money is safe from forfeiture abuse.”


    If you or anyone you know has been a victim of civil forfeiture, please contact the Institute for Justice. For more information on civil forfeiture, visit endforfeiture.com.
    blah blah blah Devin Townsend blah blah blah

    https://www.facebook.com/devintownsendexperience

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 11:38 PM
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    Premium Member

    Default

    But hey, the drug war is a net-positive, right?

    This is what people like me scream about. Programs implemented and promised to be narrow in scope and targeted eventually become programs with little oversight that mean you can get totally screwed over for having done nothing wrong.

    Most people thought asset forfeiture was a thing of the past with Eric Holder's memo, except for the fine print loopholes that left nearly 90% of all forfeitures still legal. Plus, Lynch reinstituted the rest of it anyway, so Holder's promise is now gone.

    But police are resisting this because it's a large source of their funding. New Mexico passed a law they thought would end it, but it turns out it doesn't cover local ordinances, so anyone pulled over for any reason after one DUI now loses their car and the police get to keep it and then sell it and keep 80% of the money. One recent example is that a man was driving on a suspended license from his DUI, and while he was never charged for it, the police took his car, sold it, and kept the money.

    This is the type of stuff people should be going crazy over.

  3. #3
    Baluchitherium
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    08.21.17 @ 09:32 PM
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    Default

    How people are okay with this is mind boggling!

    Whatever it takes to get that cash...they adapt very well.

    Gotta hide those cards now, too.

  4. #4
    Good Enough
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    12.16.17 @ 10:40 PM
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    Default

    Civil forfeiture in any form is wrong, period. You don't even need to be arrested or convicted of anything, and you can have whatever property law enforcement deems suspicious taken from you, and it becomes nearly impossible to ever get back. Especially when it is money.

    http://dailycaller.com/2015/01/30/th...et-forfeiture/

    The 7 Most Egregious Examples Of Civil Asset Forfeiture


    CASEY HARPER
    5:07 PM 01/30/2015

    Cops across the country are padding their budgets with hundreds of millions of dollars by seizing property from American citizens, even when they have not been charged with a crime.

    This process–called asset forfeiture–allows police to take property for themselves if they suspect it is being used for a crime, and though it was recently limited by Attorney General Eric Holder, it’s still ripe for abuse.

    Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s nominee for attorney general, called asset forfeiture “a wonderful tool” during her confirmation hearing, so The Daily Caller News Foundation compiled seven of the most “wonderful” examples of the last decade.

    1. Tan Nguyen hopped in his car excited about $50,000 in casino winnings. That excitement faded when he saw police lights in the rear view mirror. A Nevada police officer suspicious of the man’s large sum of cash confiscated it, Forbes reports. Nguyen said the cop threatened to seize and tow his car if he spoke up about it.

    After hiring a lawyer, Nguyen was able to get his $50,000 back with attorney’s fees.

    2. Matt Lee had his $2,400 cash confiscated from his car on a routine traffic stop. The worst part? It was taken by the same officer that targeted Nguyen: Deputy Lee Dove. In a shared settlement with Nguyen, Lee got his $2,400 back.

    3. The Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit’s monthly “Funk Night” party got weird in May of 2008. The all-night dance party was raging when police burst in around 2 a.m., the Metro Times reports. Officers alleged the establishment did not have a license. They passed out loitering tickets and impounded 40 vehicles just because they were driven to the party. They all got their cars back. Oh, except for the one guy who had his car stolen from the impound lot. Also, they each paid a $900 impound fee, totaling more than $35,000.

    4. Mississippi police pulled over a man for a routine traffic stop in July of 2013. An officer’s search of the vehicle found $360,000 in a secret compartment of the car. The police confiscated the money, though they had no proof the man committed a crime, ABC News reports. The report said cops “are not ruling out criminal activity.” Considering they confiscated his personal property, that seems right.


    5. A New Jersey man’s stash of cash was taken by an officer when he traveled through Monterey, Tenn. George Reby had $22,000 cash in his car when he was stopped by a police officer, News Channel 5 reports. The officer took the money because he suspected it was drug money. However, the man said he was going to use the money to buy a car, for which he had active bids on Ebay, something he was able to prove on his computer. When the officer wrote up the report, he failed to mention Reby’s claim that he was going to buy a car.

    “If somebody told me this happened to them, I absolutely would not believe this could happen in America,” Reby told News Channel 5.

    6. Even though they didn’t charge her with a crime, Georgia police took $11,530 from Alda Gentile at a regular traffic stop, The Associated Press reports. They searched the car for drugs but found none. Gentile said she had the money for a house hunting trip to Florida.

    7. A family in the Philadelphia suburbs that had their home seized by police because their son sold drugs out of the house, CNN reports. The son was charged for selling $40 of heroin, but the parents say they didn’t know about it. (RELATED: Rand Paul Tries To Stop Cops From Stealing Your Stuff)

    Wonderful.
    blah blah blah Devin Townsend blah blah blah

    https://www.facebook.com/devintownsendexperience

 

 

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