Asset Forfeiture

Oklahoma Official Used Asset Forfeiture to Pay Back His Student Loans

Another lived rent-free in a confiscated house.

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Undercover
Dreamstime

An assistant district attorney in the state of Oklahoma lived rent-free in a house confiscated by local law enforcement under the practice of asset forfeiture. His office paid the utility bills. He remained there for five years, despite a court order to sell the house at auction.

Another district attorney used $5,000 worth of confiscated funds to pay back his student loans.

These are just a few of the gems unearthed during a recent hearing on Oklahoma authorities' liberal use of asset forfeiture to take property from suspected criminals and spend it on personal enrichment. OklahomaWatch.org reports:

Under state law, the money or proceeds from forfeited property are supposed to be spent on enforcement of drug laws and drug-abuse prevention and education. …

Regarding use of the property or money after seizure, audits of district attorney's accounts by the State Auditor and Inspector's Office have found the assets in a number of cases were misused or not accounted for.

A 2009 audit of the district attorney's office that represents Beaver, Cimarron, Harper and Texas counties found that a Beaver County assistant district attorney began living rent-free in a house obtained in a 2004 forfeiture. A judge had ordered the house sold at an auction, but the prosecutor lived there through 2009.

Utility bills and repairs made to the house were paid out of the district attorney's supervision fee account, the audit states.

The audit recommended the house be sold and the supervision fee account be reimbursed.

"These conditions resulted in expenditures that were not for the enforcement of controlled dangerous substances laws, drug abuse prevention and drug abuse education," the report stated.

State Sen. Kyle Loveless, a Republican, has sponsored a bill to make these practices less common. He would prohibit asset forfeiture unless a suspect was actually convicted of a crime, and stipulate that the money go to the state's general fund.

It's easy to see why these reforms are necessary—not just in Oklahoma, but everywhere. Allowing local cops and prosecutors to keep the spoils creates perverse incentives to plunder with reckless abandon.

Unsurprisingly, cops are desperate to preserve the practice:

Law enforcement officials counter that forfeiture is necessary to combat drug trafficking and say that abuses are rare. They say Loveless is hyping the issue and using scare tactics to push his bill.

"I'm very concerned that's the line he's taking in that," said District Attorney Greg Mashburn, who represents Cleveland, Garvin and McClain counties and sits on the commission overseeing the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. …

Comanche County Sheriff Kenny Stradley, who also sits on the Bureau of Narcotics commission, said Loveless' bill would cripple law enforcement agencies' counter-drug efforts.

"I know for a fact we all try to work very hard to rid this devil's candy (drugs) off of our state. And for someone to try and push us back – sheriff's departments, police departments – that's how we continue our fight, is to take that money and go forward," Stradley said. "That will set us back many, many, many years."

We can't stop people from having drugs unless we are allowed to steal more money has to be one of the least-convincing arguments for maintaining the drug war.

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123 responses to “Oklahoma Official Used Asset Forfeiture to Pay Back His Student Loans

  1. So, these DAs caught diverting money into their own pockets:

    Charges filed?

    Ethics complaints?

    Or Will Nothing Else Happen?

    Pls, pls tell me that their defense is that they didn’t know it was against the law, and like cops, they can’t be expected to know what the law is.

    1. I just want to know who’s going to jail here? Haha, I’m joking!

      1. Who blew the whistle on ’em? There’s your answer.

    2. Nothing wrong with a conflict of interest when you’re one of the King’s men.

    3. Seems like this is a clear reason for asset forfeiture. They need to seize the DA’s bank accounts, his house, his cars, etc. He must be using the money for drugs with his salary when all his other bills are being paid.

    4. Ignorance of the law is no excuse…unless you’re in government.

  2. I’m shocked, shocked, that there is theft and robbery being committed by the biggest gang around. Shocked, I say.

    Where’s Claude Rains when you need him?

    1. Claude Rains is standing right over th….
      Huh, he was here just a second ago but I can’t see him now.

      1. +1 Song sung by disembodied lips

    2. We are protected by the enormity of your stupidity, for a time.

  3. I just want to thank Robby for not writing about Trump. It shows that you draw the line somewhere.

    1. He just hasn’t posted his “Trump said the most vile, repugnant thing” article yet.

      1. give him time… give him time

      2. “In other news, Trump today issued a statement in support of asset forfeiture…”

    2. I call bullshit.

  4. First you say you don’t want them selling seized assets to pay for MRAP’s and weapons of war. Now you say you don’t want them selling seized assets to pay down personal debt. MAKE UP YOUR MINDS.

  5. Did that fucking retard actually use the term “devil’s candy”? Fuck me!

    We’ve got trouble right here in River City!

    1. And that starts with “T” and that rhymes with “D” and that stands for DRUGS!

    2. You rang?

  6. woodchippers, tar/feathers or running them out on a rail. Their pick.

    1. I hear that Rand has a shiny new woodchipper…

    2. Why do they get to pick? It should be a vote of the innocent people whose money they seized.

    3. Tar and feather, out on a rail straight to the chipper. Yes, it can and should be done. Vile pieces of shit.

  7. to rid this devil’s candy (drugs) off of our state

    LOLwhut, Roscoe?

    1. Oklahoma is like a living Chick Tract.

  8. You know what, I don’t care as much about politicians skimming out of the trough. That has always been going on, and will continue ad infinitum. It is the people who are getting the cars, trucks, homes and cash being seized without due process that is the real problem.
    If it is true that Loveless’ bill would allow forfeiture only once a person who has been convicted, that would be a true step forward.

  9. I would say the seized assets are the “devil’s candy”.

  10. Under state law, the money or proceeds from forfeited property are supposed to be spent on enforcement of drug laws and drug-abuse prevention and education.

    And how exactly does housing a district attorney rent-free not fulfill that mission? I mean…

    1. drug-abuse prevention and education

      Sounds like a good time get into the drug-abuse prevention and education racket. It’s not like I would have to raise my own funds.

  11. Chain saw,chipper, good dry hickory wood. bonfire and a roast lamb.Then some good will some from these asses Don’t forget the garlic ,basil and rosemary.

    1. “The roast lamb of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the garlic, basil, and rosemary of patriots and tyrants”

      -Thomas Jefferson, probably

      1. Personally, I think mint goes best with liberty, er, I mean lamb.

        1. You’re just jelly

    2. And mint jelly!

  12. What’s funny is we’re supposed to be a thriving first-world democracy, but at every state and local level, we’re not just kind of like a crazy, corrupt tin-pot junta-driven third world Oligarchy, we are exactly like a crazy, corrupt tin-pot junta-driven third world oligarchy.

    1. But the kicker is, no one will accept that. If you said that to someone living in a town operating like a crazy, corrupt tin-pot junta-driven third world oligarchy, they would be appalled. This is America!

      1. You’re damn straight it’s America. Now I told you, get the fuck out of the car or I’ll light you up!

      2. Because we aren’t nearly as poor.

        That’s literally what it amounts to. When you say “corrupt” and “third-world”, they think of places like rural Nicaragua. And if they live in a nice suburb, then it doesn’t resonate with them at all.

        1. Is you handle in re to a French metal band?

        2. And it won’t resonate until they are poor in fact, and the bread and circuses stop.

      3. +1 ‘mericuh

      4. Murica!!! Hell yeah!!!

    2. We do have nicely mowed lawns at least in the ‘burbs. Who would have thought dystopia was so clean, ordered, and have such a large selection of roads?

      1. Didn’t Madeleine Le’ Engle have a book where everybody lived in a nice house, they were all the same color house, the kids would all come out and bounce balls at the same exact time, all the lawns were perfect, etc.?

        1. I believe that was a scene from “A Wrinkle In TIme”. The world was controlled by a supercomputer.

    3. And the worst part is that we’re rapidly approaching that state at the top level.

  13. Law enforcement officials counter that forfeiture is necessary to combat drug trafficking…

    Apparently not, as they weren’t used for that.

    They say Loveless is hyping the issue and using scare tactics to push his bill.

    NOW GIVE US THE NECESSARY TOOLS TO SAVE YOUR CHILDREN FROM THE DRUG PUSHERS LURKING BEHIND EVERY JUNGLE GYM BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!!

    1. Hey ,their just trying to make a profit,gag.

    2. They were isolated incidents! Isolated to government officials!

  14. Tell me the number of officials detailed above who went to jail for this corruption is somewhere above zero.

  15. From the earler AF (Asset Forfeiture or Ass-Fucking, either one works) thread

    Lee G|7.22.15 @ 1:24PM|#
    .
    Not OT: Oklahoma DAs Use Asset Forfeitures to Pay Down Student Loans

    This is old news already! What about Trump??!!??

    1. This is old news already! What about Trump??!!??

      His hair is still bad. Update at 11.

      1. Bloom County 2015 has already started in on Trump’s toupee.

        Maybe William Shatner can give him some tips.

      2. Like McCain, he is unable to comb it himself

  16. Uh oh. Caught stealing from the state. That’s a big no no.

    1. Yeah, they might get both their wrists slapped.

      1. I just clicked through.

        Nothing else happened.

        1. I’d put on my shocked face, but i left it at home and am stuck in the office for another hour.

          1. I always have 2 or 3 lying around, just in case.

  17. Comanche County Sheriff Kenny Stradley, who also sits on the Bureau of Narcotics commission, said Loveless’ bill would cripple law enforcement agencies’ counter-drug efforts.

    I grew up in Comanche County. For an idea of how well the Sheriff is doing, Lawton – the largest city in the county – has a population of about 100k, and has a violent crime rate roughly on par with that of Oakland. And good ole’ boy Stradley has been Sheriff forever.

    1. Just to give another idea of how things work there, during the Summer, residents were ordered to ration their water consumption due to drought conditions. Mysteriously, one day city workers came to a fire hydrant located near a local wealthy land developer’s property and opened it up full blast. It ran that way for days, until there was a nice pond on the developer’s property. The developer had wanted to install a pond and got his friends on the city council to cover the cost during drought conditions. And that’s how things work in Lawton.

    2. “has a violent crime rate roughly on par with that of Oakland”

      Does Fort Sill contribute to the crime rate as much as it did back in the draftee days? A soldier or two would end up dead in town just about every post-payday weekend when I was there.

      1. I’m honestly not too sure about that. No doubt they contribute more than their fair share of bar fights, drunk driving, etc given their love of bars and strip clubs. But there is a lot of violent criminal gang activity in the city, and I don’t think too many soldiers are involved in that.

        1. Thanks. There wasn’t much in the way of gang activity when I was there, but that was long ago.

    1. What about it? I’m menstruating right now, and I certainly don’t consider myself a woman. I have a dick, for goodness’ sake.

      1. If you’re bleeding from your dick, you may want to seek medical attention soon. Just a suggestion.

      2. MEN-struation.

        /mansplained.

        1. Menstruation, Menopause, Mental Anguish: All women’s problems begin with men.

      3. Prison Counsellor: Why do you say you feel “trapped” in a man’s body?

        “Trapped” Convict: Well, sometimes I get them menstrual cramps real hard.

        1. I’m BARREN!

      4. Maybe it’s just a really big clit.

        1. *rubs chin contemplatively*

          1. Maybe it’s just a really big chin!

            1. *rubs dick/clit contemplatively*

  18. “I know for a fact we all try to work very hard to rid this devil’s candy (drugs) off of our state. And for someone to try and push us back ? sheriff’s departments, police departments ? that’s how we continue our fight, is to take that money and go forward,” Stradley said. “That will set us back many, many, many years.”

    Yeah! Like, from infinity all the way to infinity plus 10!

  19. Rico is too young to put up a picture of the late, great Miguelito Loveless. Come to think of it, so am I.

    1. I’m just impressed that none of the models in the stock photo have their doggone booger-hooks on the triggers of the guns they’re holding.

      1. My friend’s husband, who is retired from the British Army and is now a state trooper here in ‘Merika, posted a picture of himself with a long gun he got for Xmas, indoors, aimed at his mother-in-law, with his finger inside the trigger guard.

        And he supposedly likes his mother-in-law!!

        1. Revealed vs. Stated preferences, clearly.

        2. who is retired from the British Army

          This probably has more to do with not handling a firearm properly than does the state trooper angle.

          Although the former makes him a perfect fit for the latter.

          1. Hey, it could have been the French Army.

            French Army Surplus: Never fired, only dropped once.

            1. I was in France with a school trip (which had been delayed a year due to 9/11) the week we invaded Iraq (great timing, FTW!). They had some French National Guard guys under the Eiffel Tower with Assault Rifles, mags in, with their fingers in the trigger guards, taking pictures with the girls in my group. I went up to them and roughly explained using bastardized French plus English, why that was a bad idea. They tried to get all huffy, then their sergeant came over and ripped them a new one. Probably the funniest French I’ve ever heard. Goes to show all NCOs sound alike, regardless of nationality.

      2. Just proves they’re not real cops is all.

    2. Loveless you magnificent bastard, I watched your show!

  20. Great alt text!

  21. How is one expected to live in Beaver county and not do drugs.

  22. “I know for a fact we all try to work very hard to rid this devil’s candy (drugs) off of our state.

    Devil’s candy? The fuckwit actually used that term? Really?

    1. I am planning a road trip to Oklahoma to find out what the hullabaloo is.

    2. The Demon Weed! We must rid our society of the Demon Weed!

      1. If you’re talking about dandelions, I’m all for it.

        1. But, the childrunz love to blow the seeds off, to turn into yet more dandelions on your lawn.
          Why do you hatez the childrunz, Paul, why?

    3. You know that boy loves him some Devil’s Candy. What a dumbass.

  23. We can’t stop people from having drugs unless we are allowed to steal more money has to be one of the least-convincing arguments for maintaining the drug war

    That is not the argument, Rico.

    “We can’t steal more money unless we can stop people having drugs” is how the Drug War keeps going.

  24. you really missed the news in this one Robby. a cop paid back a loan?

  25. I would rather have our crime fighters benefit from crime than have our criminals benefit from crime.

    1. What is it that you like about crime-fighting criminals?

  26. To rephrase:
    “We can’t stop people from selling drugs unless we’re allowed to violate their due process rights” is not an argument for either violating their due process rights, or for stopping them from selling drugs.

    1. I second that. What about the Churrins?

  27. Inb4 progs use this as an excuse to wipe all student debts.

  28. Take the value of the assets that were misused. If the amount exceeds the value for felony theft the person that misused them looses their job, repays the debt in full, and admits to guilt of a lower class felony. If the value is not in felony territory they only loose the job and repay the value.

    In neither case are they allowed to resign and keep their pension.
    Do this a couple of times and the word will get around.

    One last thing. Anybody that helps them cover it up is terminated for cause.

    1. Not adequate. There need to be criminal penalties involved and they need to be severe. 5-10 minimum no opportunity for parole and a 7 figure fine seems about right.

    2. Do you mean lose their job, or head? “Cuz I’m for the latter.

    3. Five years rent free seems like a felony to me. $5,000 stolen to pay student loan might not be felony level offense. I agree with your suggestion that restitution should be made and that they should be fired along with any supervisor(s) that okayed the stealing. The assistant DAs should be disbarred, lose their licenses to practice law.

  29. “State Sen. Kyle Loveless, a Republican, has sponsored a bill to make these practices less common. He would prohibit asset forfeiture unless a suspect was actually convicted of a crime, and stipulate that the money go to the state’s general fund.”

    NOT GOOD ENOUGH. The suspect (who is NOT a suspect if he is convicted) needs to also ACTUALLY OWN THE PROPERTY BEING SEIZED!

    1. “NOT GOOD ENOUGH. The suspect (who is NOT a suspect if he is convicted) needs to also ACTUALLY OWN THE PROPERTY BEING SEIZED!”

      Even your “not good enough” is not good enough.

      This “forfeiture” nonsense is to stop…period. No “unless” clauses….no “if”…no exceptions at all.

      You allow the slightest exception, in time, cops, district attorneys and prosecutors will be driving trucks through the most miniscule loophole.

      This is what they do. This is what they’re good at.

      No asset forfeiture. None. Period.

  30. Allowing local cops and prosecutors to keep the spoils creates perverse incentives to plunder with reckless abandon.

    Perverse seems outta place. It creates perverse incentives to plunder with reckless abandon while, or rather than, upholding the law or just creates a perverse incentive, no?

    Allowing people (cops or other) to keep the money they take creates a regular incentive to take money.

  31. It is just an extortion racket, and no amount of reform can make it a legitimate practice.

    You cannot get law enforcement officials to acknowledge that _anything_ they do is wrong. The murders they commit are all carried out according to standard operating procedures. Likewise the attacks on people’s houses with SWAT teams, to search for drugs. Civil forfeiture keeps the police state well funded. No member of the police state will call it what it is.

    Inch by inch, row by row, we want to let this garden variety totalitiarianism grow. We have gone way past garden variety at this point, though. Whom do we fear most now, criminals with guns, or criminals with guns and uniforms? Criminals with guns and uniforms have a lot more power, a lot more money, a lot more resources, and they are better organized. We need some more Robin Hoods around: outlaws who will fight the real outlaws.

  32. Literally HIGHWAY robbery

  33. Asset forfeiture, aka a license to steal. Forfeiture should be left up to the courts after a trial and conviction.

  34. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.online-jobs9.com

  35. Even if abuse was rare, it would still be inexcusable and has to stop.

  36. number of officials punished and or jailed?

    0.

    until there are consequences from this sort of piracy, nothing is going to change.

    this guys need a nice stint in the pokey.

  37. Asset forfeiture is free money to the government. Until there are severe penalties, or better, conviction on a crime, then this will not stop. Free money and no penalty is what I would call “incentive”.

  38. Sounds like there should be some prosecutions for converting government assets to personal use.

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  40. When California CALIFORNIA is pitching ahead of my home state Oklahoma on a significant issue, it puts something of shame on us. The bill by Loveless was introduced just this past session yet it didn’t get a vote. WHAT THE FUCK!? At the first griping from law enforcement officials, the bill didn’t get a fucking vote!!! Fuck those fucking fucked up people!!! Your practices are no different than what was done in the Soviet Union where the government just kicked people off their lands because of a slight suspicion and shipped off to the gulags likely to die there!!! These people who justify asset forfeiture for the drug war particularly are fucking communists!!!! FUCK THEM HARD!!!!!!

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