The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been accused of alleged illegal seizure of 800 safety deposit boxes in Beverly Hills, housed in the US Private Vaults facility.
According to reports, the FBI obtained a warrant from a California court to raid the safety deposit boxes, which were allegedly linked to a money-laundering investigation. However, according to L.A. Times writer Michael Finnegan, the injunction prohibited inspections of the safety deposit box contents.
The safe deposit boxes’ proprietors and their counsel have strongly condemned the act and termed it unconstitutional. Also, the Safety deposit box holders have filed 11 lawsuits against the federal government so far as an attempt to bar confiscation by FBI.
According to attorneys representing a considerable number of box holders, the federal law enforcement agency did not get a routinely issued warrant demonstrating probable cause.
According to Gluck to the Los Angeles Times, the agency cannot remove items without proof in the anticipation that they would be delivered late. He went on to say that the 4th Amendment and forfeiture statutes mandate the contrary, that one must first have proof before taking property.
Joseph Ruiz a senior Lawyer for a Safety Deposit Box, lost his life savings in the FBI raid and those federal officials merely stole cash worth $57K during the raid. Ruiz had earned the money through a documented court settlements, and the FBI has not provided him with any explanation.
On the other hand, the Thom Mrozek, an FBI spokesperson, disputed the fact that the federal agency abused its powers and claims that funds were linked to criminal activities . According to Mrozek, huge sums of cash maintained by a person without a source of income might result in forfeiture.
Federal seizures like this highlight the benefits of digital currencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin, which are much more difficult to take than boxes of cash and jewels. According to statistics from 2000 to 2019, these legalized pirates took $46 billion from forfeiture cases, with the United States federal government keeping the lion’s share of the proceeds.
In truth, police enforcement in the United States earns billions of dollars every year in forfeiture cases, many of which go uninvestigated. The abuse has resulted in unprecedented levels of abuse, prompting human rights organizations to label the move as “policing for profit.” The large hoard of cash and jewelry seized by the government each year does not even begin to account for the vast amount of land seizures made by federal authorities in forfeiture cases.