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Thread: Bullshit "civil forfeiture" laws allowed Phoenix police to steal $39,500 from innocent business owner at airport

  1. #1
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Bullshit "civil forfeiture" laws allowed Phoenix police to steal $39,500 from innocent business owner at airport

    Be careful about flying with large amounts of cash. Civil forfeiture, while not as prevalent as it once was on a federal level, is still happening in some states.

    Arizona is one of them.

    Civil forfeiture is a nasty law which allows governments to seize cash or property from you, claim that you have to prove your innocence to get it back, and they are never required to charge you with a crime. This most commonly occurs when out-of-state cars are targeted on the road, which are believed to be carrying a lot of cash, such as popular highways to/from casinos.

    This also occurs at airports sometimes, which is why you need to be careful about flying with a lot of cash, even though it's not illegal to fly domestically with large amounts of cash.

    Jerry Johnson runs a small trucking business in North Carolina. He scraped together $39,500 to buy equipment in Phoenix. He brought that much cash with him, and it was seen in his luggage. He was then detained, and threatened with arrest unless he signed a "waiver", which made it easier to seize his cash without the ability to contest it.

    Even had he not signed the waiver, they could have seized the cash.

    Based upon this and other cases, Arizona is trying to pass a bill seriously reducing civil forfeiture, but it is now getting roadblocked in the state house.

    https://ij.org/press-release/innocen...ms-are-gutted/


    Really ugly story.

    Also, you should be aware that a lot of small jurisdictions are once again using federal help to circumvent state law against civil forfeiture. This was made illegal in 2014, but became legal again in 2017.

    Watch where you are driving when you have a lot of cash, and watch where you fly.


    Only 14 of the 50 states have decent laws regarding civil forfeiture, with a seizure standard of "clear and convincing evidence" of a crime having been committed. Those "good" states are: Colorado, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Utah, Vermont, California, Wisconsin, Connecticut, North Carolina, Montana, Nebraska, and New Mexico.

    However, as I said, this doesn't mean a whole lot in smaller jurisdictions which use the federal government's help to circumvent state protections! However, these states are less likely to seize your cash at major airports.

    Iowa is one of the more notorious civil forfeiture states, where cops are known to target out-of-state vehicles traveling to/from casinos. This also happened a lot in northern Nevada.

     
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      Sloppy Joe: Spot on, it's robbery

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    Diamond Walter Sobchak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Be careful about flying with large amounts of cash. Civil forfeiture, while not as prevalent as it once was on a federal level, is still happening in some states.

    Arizona is one of them.

    Civil forfeiture is a nasty law which allows governments to seize cash or property from you, claim that you have to prove your innocence to get it back, and they are never required to charge you with a crime. This most commonly occurs when out-of-state cars are targeted on the road, which are believed to be carrying a lot of cash, such as popular highways to/from casinos.

    This also occurs at airports sometimes, which is why you need to be careful about flying with a lot of cash, even though it's not illegal to fly domestically with large amounts of cash.

    Jerry Johnson runs a small trucking business in North Carolina. He scraped together $39,500 to buy equipment in Phoenix. He brought that much cash with him, and it was seen in his luggage. He was then detained, and threatened with arrest unless he signed a "waiver", which made it easier to seize his cash without the ability to contest it.

    Even had he not signed the waiver, they could have seized the cash.

    Based upon this and other cases, Arizona is trying to pass a bill seriously reducing civil forfeiture, but it is now getting roadblocked in the state house.

    https://ij.org/press-release/innocen...ms-are-gutted/


    Really ugly story.

    Also, you should be aware that a lot of small jurisdictions are once again using federal help to circumvent state law against civil forfeiture. This was made illegal in 2014, but became legal again in 2017.

    Watch where you are driving when you have a lot of cash, and watch where you fly.


    Only 14 of the 50 states have decent laws regarding civil forfeiture, with a seizure standard of "clear and convincing evidence" of a crime having been committed. Those "good" states are: Colorado, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Utah, Vermont, California, Wisconsin, Connecticut, North Carolina, Montana, Nebraska, and New Mexico.

    However, as I said, this doesn't mean a whole lot in smaller jurisdictions which use the federal government's help to circumvent state protections! However, these states are less likely to seize your cash at major airports.

    Iowa is one of the more notorious civil forfeiture states, where cops are known to target out-of-state vehicles traveling to/from casinos. This also happened a lot in northern Nevada.
    Thanks Republicans, and thanks Trump for reversing Obama's policy so civil forfeitures can start again. Great work.

     
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      MumblesBadly: Exactly. Wondering why Druff has been so quiet about that.

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    Gold MrTickle's Avatar
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    Wasn't civil forfeiture banned by Obama AG Eric Holder? I had no idea it still existed in some states.

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrTickle View Post
    Wasn't civil forfeiture banned by Obama AG Eric Holder? I had no idea it still existed in some states.
    Sort of. It was not banned federally at any point.

    Eric Holder, one of the worst Attorneys General ever, did one good thing during his term, ending what was known as "equitable sharing" at the federal level. This was what allowed shady small towns to circumvent state laws prohibiting frivolous civil forfeiture, by partnering with federal authorities, and making it a federal bust instead of a state-level bust. The "equitable sharing" agreement allowed the fed to keep 50% and the local jurisdiction to keep the other 50%, even though the locals did most of the work. Everyone won in this arrangement... except the innocent people who were being stolen from by the government!

    Trump then reinstated this in 2017. It's not clear why he did it. I think he didn't understand the whole thing, and was talked into believing that civil forfeiture was important an important tool used for thwarting major drug dealers. That's how it began, but over time it got perverted into a legalized stealing operation, and thus should have been eliminated a long time ago.

    While it's easy to blame all Republicans for this, that's not really the story here. Civil forfeiture is widely hated by all political parties, yet it somehow persists. To show you how it's not politically biased to one side, the states with the strongest laws against it are New Mexico (blue), Nebraska (red), and Montana (red). The states with the weakest laws against it include ones like Massachusetts (blue), Alaska (red), Alabama (red), and Rhode Island (blue). The states with the biggest civil forfeiture problems historically have been Iowa, Nevada, and Arizona -- all purple!

    Republicans hate it because it involves the state trampling on individual rights.

    Democrats hate it because it involves violation of civil liberties.

    Libertarians despite it because.... well, do I even have to say?


    There's actually a simple way to reform civil forfeiture to where it can still be used to target the bad guys (drug dealers, smugglers, black market salesmen) while making it impossible to abuse the innocent.

    First, set a floor of $200,000 as the minimum amount which can be seized. This will prevent almost all targeting of innocent people carrying cash to/from casinos or to/from legitimate transactions.

    Second, ban all forms of waivers or any other documents where the accused agree to forfeit the money in exchange for no prosecution. This will prevent the blackmail where innocent people are threatened with 20 years in prison if they don't sign away the assets seized.

    Third, provide a quick and easy hearing process where the people with the seized money can appear before a judge and explain where the money came from. And if the state loses that hearing, it has to pay for all of the court and travel expenses for the accused. Furthermore, the accused can appeal it to a state-level court to hear their reasoning, if they feel they were railroaded by a corrupt local court.

    Fourth, require clear and convincing evidence of the money or assets having been obtained illegally, in order to seize it. This means there would have to either be clear evidence in the vehicle or on the person when they're stopped, or they would have had to have been the subject of an existing investigation. A drug sniffing dog indicating a drug scent in the car wouldn't count, nor would the discovery of a recreational amount of drugs. This would prevent random people from being targeted in places like airports or on highways.

    QED

    SFO

  5. #5
    Not directly related to this, but noticed Druff's remark about setting a 200k floor.

    They really need to do something. When they made the law that bank tellers had to fill out a CTR for deposits over $10k, that was back in the 70s when that 10k was probably close to 70k in today's money.

    Now they will even flag you even you are depositing more than 5k a week in cash to a bank teller.

    It won't be too far into the future that cash will be obsolete imo.

  6. #6
    All Sorts of Sports gut's Avatar
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    Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge objector to society becoming cashless, and I still generally use cash for most day-to-day purchases. I also think (as I'm sure everyone here does) that the civil forfeiture laws are some horseshit.

    BUT

    Why the fuck is dude flying with 40k??? You're telling me a small-business owner (albeit VERY small, according to the article) doesn't have a bank account? I feel like the Phoenix auction site or whatever was probably kind of shitty, and offered him some discount for paying in cash, which would be pretty shady for that big of a purchase. I just can't imagine cash being that dudes idea. I'd be shitting bricks flying with that much.

    Also, could he not find a similar deal a little closer to home? Is Phoenix a hotbed for used big-rigs? Mumbles any knowledge of this? The whole story outside of the forfeiture just baffles me.
    Last edited by gut; 04-09-2021 at 04:10 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by gut View Post
    Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge objector to society becoming cashless, and I still generally use cash for most day-to-day purchases. I also think (as I'm sure everyone here does) that the civil forfeiture laws are some horseshit.

    BUT

    Why the fuck is dude flying with 40k??? You're telling me a small-business owner (albeit VERY small, according to the article) doesn't have a bank account? I feel like the Phoenix auction site or whatever was probably kind of shitty, and offered him some discount for paying in cash, which would be pretty shady for that big of a purchase. I just can't imagine cash being that dudes idea. I'd be shitting bricks flying with that much.

    Also, could he not find a similar deal a little closer to home? Is Phoenix a hotbed for used big-rigs? Mumbles any knowledge of this? The whole story outside of the forfeiture just baffles me.
    Be a great scam. Three way split versus two. You set up business that attracts out of state customers, offer them a deal in cash, alert authorities to their arrival, and cha ching. Unlikely, but not a bad business plan, and given how crooked it is to begin with, and it’s straight up theft, why not a little entrapment with your theft?

  8. #8
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    You want to hear about corruption in civil forfeiture?

    You want to hear about how it involves a Harrah's property?

    Okay, then.

    In 2013, Harrah's Joliet (or an employee there) apparently had an interesting arrangement with corrupt police departments across the country. When someone would win big there, have an out of state address, and take their winnings in cash, someone at Harrah's Joliet would alert these corrupt police departments between their casino in Illinois and the player's home, and describe their car. The police would then pull them over and seize their cash.

    It's not clear what Harrah's Joliet and/or the employees involved got out of this, but I have to imagine they got something. It's also possible that Harrah's Joliet does/did this as a form of revenge against advantage players.

    John Newmerzhycky and William Barton Davis, traveled to Harrah's Joliet from California, claiming they were there for a WSOP event. They described themselves as "professional poker players" -- but seem to have had a thin poker resume at the time. They bricked the event, but won $100k playing video keno. It turned out that the keno machines had incorrectly set payouts to where they were able to be played at a big advantage. It is likely that Newmerzhycky and Davis were casino advantage players, and the poker thing was just a cover.

    On the way home, the two men were stopped in Iowa, supposedly for "failing to signal". However, when the officer's dashcam showed that there was no failure to signal, the officer reluctantly admitted that he pulled over the car on a "be on the lookout" order!

    The two men were questioned, and their car searched. Their $100k was found. A tiny amount of marijuana was found, and that was used as justification to seize all the money. The story was at first presented that they simply pulled the car over because of the failure to signal, and the officer got suspicious, then resulting in the drug dog being brought to help search the vehicle. When the tiny bit of marijuana was found -- not even enough to smoke -- the officers claimed they had stumbled upon a large drug dealing operation. The officers never admitted that they were told to "be on the lookout" for the vehicle until it came out in court about the dashcam.

    Here's that story: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20...ir-state.shtml

    Two weeks later, other advantage players showed up to Harrah's Joliet, which still didn't realize their machines were vulnerable to advantage players. These players won very big, and the same "be on the lookout" crap was distributed among corrupt police departments. They were looking for two different cars, belonging to the main two players involved. However, unbeknownst to Harrah's, one of them happened to switch his rental car after leaving the casino (for reasons unrelated to this), and got lucky in that he wasn't stopped. The other guy, who had the same car, was pulled over in Arizona, and $400,000 (!!) was seized.

    Harrah's then got a criminal case started against this guy and his 4 friends, for "cheating", but the entire thing fell apart in 2015, especially after the case involving Newmerzhycky and Davis was linked to this one.

    Here's that story: https://patch.com/illinois/joliet/2-...rosecuted-suit



    The notable thing here was that Harrah's Joliet somehow had the reach to TWO different out-of-state police departments -- one in Arizona, one in Iowa (and probably many others) -- to have them look for these cars and seize the cash won at their property.

    Really ugly stuff.

  9. #9
    As I understand the law, this man should have put the loan terms in writing, filed IRS Form 8300, and carried the IRS Form and loan documents with him. The smartest thing to do is to wire yourself the money in addition to the documentation so that you are not traveling very far with the actual cash. I'll be surprised if he gets it back without getting charged.

    IRS Form 8300 info...

    https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small...-of-over-10000

    Text copied from...

    https://cdllife.com/2021/trucking-co...t-authorities/

  10. #10
    Flashlight Master
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    From another website-

    The Arizona Citizens Defense League (CDL) sent out a mailer-

    HB 2810 is civil asset forfeiture reform legislation. It would require a criminal conviction in order for the government to confiscate someone’s property. HB 2810 passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 11. We are waiting for it to be scheduled for a Senate COW debate.


    Add- Thanks to Druff sharing this, I am getting the word out to the masses on other web boards. Educating others on this is so important. Druff- Your hard work is paying off!
    Last edited by desertrunner; 04-11-2021 at 10:52 AM.

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    Platinum ftpjesus's Avatar
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    Gov signed the civil asset forfeiture reform law last night.. It now requires a criminal conviction to successfully take funds from an individual. Im amazed they worked this through so quickly from the legislature to the Gov desk in barely a month.. Given the GOP controls both houses it shouldnt surprise but I was surprised there werent objections that this would make it harder to seize cartel drug money as Phx is a major transportation hub in the SW

  12. #12
    spooky shit... what if u just grinded ur shit out and dodged the bullets and won a 1st place in like a local tournament type of casino for like 20-30k and get pulled over and scooped by the cops and the queers on the way home , what a sick beat that would be

  13. #13
    Pro tip for those that need to carry large amounts of cash domestically on a plane. I try to avoid doing this at all costs but sometimes I have no other choice like say traveling to a Poker Night in America 100/200NL game in the middle of Oklahoma or something. Get TSA precheck.. Not only does it vastly expedite things when going through security but the dedicated line doesnt use a body scanner. It's just an old school metal detector. Which means that you can have non metallic items in your pockets when you walk through the machine, unlike the non TSA line. Take a strap of $10k in cash, remove the strap and fold the stack of bills in half. Rubber band it. Do the same thing with a second strap. Now take both bundles of 10k and band them together. You can easily fit $20k in each pocket of normal jeans and there is no noticeable budge. Very easy way to take up to $40k without hassle.

    I dont trust those fucks at the TSA and I always think its nuts when some of my friends just stick like $80k into their laptop bag and run it through the xray.

    On a side note, the easiest way to bring money to the WSOP is to bank with a company that has branches in Las Vegas. Chase, BOA, Wells F, they are all there. Go to the Vegas branch and ask for a withdrawal by certified check. Comes right out of your account like cash. Have the check made out to yourself. You can go to the WSOP cage, endorse it and tell them you want to use it for tourney buy-ins. They will call your bank to verify (usually takes a few hours) and once verified they will literally give you Rio chips for the check. You dont even have to play in any tournaments. Ive done this for at least the past five years. It is much easier than trying to send a wire to them and having some temp working moron try to process it on the other side.

     
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      Dan Druff: good ideas for those flying in for WSOP

  14. #14
    More like hart banson BAAZING

  15. #15
    Diamond Walter Sobchak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rollinx420 View Post
    spooky shit... what if u just grinded ur shit out and dodged the bullets and won a 1st place in like a local tournament type of casino for like 20-30k and get pulled over and scooped by the cops and the queers on the way home , what a sick beat that would be
    The Indians who run the place will just refuse to pay it out. Easy game.

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  16. #16
    They should just wire the moneys

  17. #17
    100% Organic MumblesBadly's Avatar
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    I see your “fraudulent civil asset forfeiture” and raise an “illegal FBI seizure of millions of dollars worth of contents of hundrers of rented safe deposit boxes”.

    Initial video about a month ago:


    Update:

     
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      dwai: saw the old one a week ago, was very intrigued
    _____________________________________________
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    I actually hope this [second impeachment] succeeds, because I want Trump put down politically like a sick, 14-year-old dog. ... I don't want him complicating the 2024 primary season. I just want him done.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Were Republicans cowardly or unethical not to go along with [convicting Trump in the second impeachment Senate trial]? No. The smart move was to reject it.

  18. #18
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    This is one of many reasons NOT to ever rent one of those boxes at anything but a bank or large casino.

    Remember that one in LV, which experienced break-ins TWICE, both times facilitated by employees? The old fart who ran it even lied about the advanced security features there, and in reality he had low-wage, trashy employees who basically had the run of the place and all its valuables.

  19. #19
    Wire the money, problem solved? No?

  20. #20
    100% Organic MumblesBadly's Avatar
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    Related issue: The unscientific and unreliable use of drug-alerting police dogs to create a “probably cause” pretext for searching innocent people’s vehicles.

    _____________________________________________
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    I actually hope this [second impeachment] succeeds, because I want Trump put down politically like a sick, 14-year-old dog. ... I don't want him complicating the 2024 primary season. I just want him done.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Were Republicans cowardly or unethical not to go along with [convicting Trump in the second impeachment Senate trial]? No. The smart move was to reject it.

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