This next story is almost unbelievable but we now have an FBI that does whatever it wants.
The FBI suspected a safe deposit box company named U.S. Private Vaults was participating in money laundering. That got them a search warrant with limitations they ignored. The judge told them not to remove any contents unless the FBI could prove the contents were illegal.
Despite the order, the FBI agents broke open the boxes and stole $86 million in cash, jewelry, rare coins, and precious metals.
The owners went to court. The FBI said they smelled marijuana in the boxes, which was bull. The owners now had to prove their possessions belong to them.
Eight hundred people had their goods stolen by the FBI and now have to prove it’s their’s. In the case of one chef, they said he didn’t make enough money to have $57,000 in a safety deposit box. He produced proof and they returned his life savings.
Prosecutors, so far, have outlined past criminal convictions or pending charges against 11 box holders to justify the forfeitures. But in several other cases, court records show, the government’s rationale for claiming that the money and property it seized was tied to crime is no stronger than it was against the chef.