Sex Work

Sex Work and Civil Asset Forfeiture Increasingly Go Hand in Hand

Uncle Sam as über pimp


West Midlands Police/Flickr

In the wake of Tuesday's federal raid on male-escort advertising site, many on social media have suggested anti-gay motivations, "a throwback to when the police raided gay bars in the 50s and 60s." While I'm glad if this framing gets more gay-rights groups to take up sex-work advocacy, the government's interest in stopping commercial gay sex is surely more motivated by the commercial aspect here than the man-on-man component. We're riding high on a wave of state successes in shutting down prostitution-related businesses—from to escort services like Sensual Alaska—and cracking down on commercial sexual activity, be it street-based prostitution or erotic massage parlors.

This is all bolstered by the guise of stopping "human trafficking," and aided by massive amounts of federal funding plus newly granted wiretapping, asset forfeiture, and other law enforcement powers. As Scott Shackford pointed out, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) didn't go after out of a conviction that gay sex workers pose a threat to national safety but because they could seize $1.4 million from employee bank accounts, along with their homes and other assets. This is not so much a moral crusade—not for police, prosecutors, or federal agencies anyway—as a money-grubbing one. 

Under a variety of statutes, from the Travel Act (which is what employees were charged with violating) to the recently passed Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA), the federal government can gain permission to seize assets from any number of people connected to any kind of prostitution business. And among many prostitution-related laws passed in the states over the past decade, adding asset forfeiture possibilities has been quite a popular move. At least 41 states* and the District of Columbia now allow some form asset forfeiture for commercial-sex offenses, up from 32 in 2012.

Some of this falls under state laws saying assets used in relation to any felonies—of which aiding in the prostitution of someone under 18 is usually included—are subject to forfeiture. Other state laws specifically address asset forfeiture for commercial-sex crimes, from human trafficking to solicitation to "promoting prostitution." And while some states require a conviction before cash, cars, or property may be seized (aka criminal forfeiture), many allow civil asset forfeiture, wherein no conviction or even charges are necessary before police and prosecutors swoop in.

"For the police to seize an individual's property, most jurisdictions require that the officer merely have  'probable cause' to believe the property is subject to forfeiture," the Institute for Justice explains. "What happens after a seizure depends on the jurisdiction, the type of property seized and the type of forfeiture that is being sought. In some cases, the police may simply declare a property forfeited—permanently taken from its owner—without judicial involvement. Prosecutors or district attorneys may also initiate forfeiture proceedings in court. A judge will then determine if the assets are to be forfeited." 

Once assets are forfeited, they may all go to local police, or they may be split between police, government agencies, and special crime-fighting or victims' funds. 

"Forfeiture was originally presented as a way to cripple large-scale criminal enterprises by diverting their resources," according to the American Civil Liberties Union. "But today, aided by deeply flawed federal and state laws, many police departments use forfeiture to benefit their bottom lines, making seizures motivated by profit rather than crime-fighting." And in cases where citizens are allowed to request their stuff back, "legally regaining such property is notoriously difficult and expensive, with costs sometimes exceeding the value of the property."

Government officials, meanwhile, think it's not easy enough to steal people's things. For instance, the JVTA, passed in May, just lowered the standard for forfeiture of targeted property by allowing the feds to access assets merely "involved in" the commission of a crime, not just those "used or intended to be used" in that crime's commission.

"By changing the standard, prosecutors (don't) have to show direct traceability between the crime and the targeted assets," Congress notes. "Instead, they only need show that the assets were involved in the crime or used to conceal the source of criminal assets." While this might seem palatable if it was only used against major trafficking offenders, remember that under the JVTA, working for an escort-advertising website such as Rentboy or soliciting prostitution from a 17-year-old (or a cop playing a 17-year-old) could get you charged with human trafficking. 

Federal lawmakers aren't the only ones expanding asset forfeiture's reach recently. A Pennsylvania measure signed into law last summer lets prosecutors seize assets from someone charged with human trafficking absent a conviction, with basically no oversight of how this works out. Indiana passed legislation this past May to allow civil asset forfeiture of property used "to facilitate" human trafficking or for "promoting prostitution"—a crime that can include owning a property where prostitution occurs or simply encouraging someone to have sex for money.

Richard Masoner/Cyclelicious/Flickr

In Minnesota, soliciting or promoting prostitution in any way will do. In Maryland, any form of suspected "pandering" (i.e., "taking, placing, persuading, inducing, enticing, encouraging, or benefiting" from someone's prostitution) can trigger asset forfeiture. In Colorado, "every building or part of a building including the ground upon which it is situated and all fixtures and contents thereof, every vehicle, and any real property shall be deemed a class 1 public nuisance"—i.e., a place legally up for asset-forfeiture grabs—if it was "used as a public or private place of prostitution or used as a place where the commission of soliciting for prostitution," pandering, pimping, or human trafficking occured.

Places without strong asset forfeiture laws for prostitution have been beefing them up. In D.C., lawmakers are angling to impound the cars of anyone suspected of soliciting prostitution. In September 2014, "Albuquerque, which has long seized the cars of suspected drunken drivers, began taking them from men suspected of trying to pick up prostitutes, landing seven cars during a one-night sting," The New York Times noted last November.  

This has been an increasingly popular tactic lately, one which lawmakers claim can help "end demand" for prostitution by instilling fear into the hearts of potential "johns." Yet some cities have been trying it for decades, with (surprise, surprise) no corresponding prostitution drop. Portland began seizing solicitors cars in 1989; certain Connecticut cities in the early '90s; Los Angeles tried it out in the mid-aughts.

"Since the city of Oakland began seizing the cars of those caught soliciting prostitution in 1998, laws allowing municipalities to take vehicles of scofflaws have become popular" in California, the Los Angeles Times noted in 2003. "Although some critics warn that the punishments often seem to outweigh the crimes, especially in cases where the driver is not the owner, many Los Angeles officials said they believe the laws are necessary to send a message to potential lawbreakers." 

The Times' brings up an important point: seized property doesn't always belong to the criminals (or "criminals"). In drug cases, we've seen cops go after a teen's grandparent's home because the kid sold pot on the porch. In prostitution cases, cops can seize a suspected client's car even if the vehicle belongs a spouse, a friend, an employer. If a sex worker invites a client into a relative's house or a local hotel for paid sex, that home or business could theoretically be seized. 

How does this all play out in practice? C.J. Ciaramella at the Washington Free Beacon points to one example, involving a Pennsylvania man named Robert Bond who was charged with misdemeanor solicitation. 

As part of a new diversion program for johns, Bond can get the crime expunged from his record after paying a $215 court fine and attending a $250 "sexual education and responsibility" class. But Philadelphia also seized his car, and it has been sitting in impound since August. A notebook with all of Bond's landscaping clients is inside his car. The police won't let him retrieve it.

In Morris County, New Jersey, prosecutors are seeking to keep $10,000 in cash and other items seized during massage-parlor prostitution investigations. The Las Vegas "Pimp Investigation Team" claims to have "seized hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise and money from suspected pimps."

In Arizona, Ulises Ruiz and his girlfriend, suspected of running illegal massage businesses, had cars, cash, and their home seized by Pima County prosecutors. "It was found by clear and convincing evidence that all of his assets … were, in fact, the proceeds of criminal activity," said Pima County Deputy Attorney Julie Sottosanti.

To make matters worse, police say the $15,000 Ruiz's girlfriend put up for Ruiz's bond is invalid, since that money should have been forfeited to them already. Ruiz remains incarcerated. That's right: cops can keep you in jail indefinitely, without convicting you of any crimes, because any money you might use to get out of jail is assumed to be the proceeds of the same criminal activity they haven't yet proved on you. 

As criminal justice reform gains momentum in the United States, media and activists have started paying more attention to asset forfeiture abuse. But even as lawmakers pay lip service to reforming asset-forfeiture laws, especially those related to drug offenses, they keep pushing new ones when it comes to sex crimes. Here we have one more area where the crusade against commercial sex (or "War on Whores," as writer Maggie McNeill likes to call it) is being used to justify the sort of state overreach formerly reserved for the drug war and fighting terrorism.

Which is all to say: the Department of Homeland Security seizing $1.4 million from is likely only the beginning. But that does prompt the question: if pandering and sex trafficking are defined (in part) as receiving anything of financial value from the commercial sexual labor of another, doesn't this make Uncle Sam the über pimp? 

* States with asset forfeiture for prostitution-related offenses: Alabama, Alasksa, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin

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  1. Got my mind on yo’ money
    and yo’ money on my mind!


  2. If you like your current pimp than you can keep your pimp…

  3. How is asset forfeiture even permitted without a conviction? How is that remotely Constitutional? I can’t believe these crooks are still getting away with this shit.

    1. It’s not constitutional, not in any way, shape, or form. It works because the people seizing the assets have guns. When a police officer searches a motorist’s vehicle during a traffic stop and seizes any cash that he finds, he is committing an armed robbery. It’s not even theft under color of law, because the law – namely, the Constitution – expressly prohibits depriving someone of his or her property without due process.

      1. That’s part of it, Karl, but the main reason it works is because Judges tolerate it.

        1. No, T, the real reason it works is because the populace tolerates it.

          1. No, T, the real reason it works is because the populace tolerates it.

            People like us, who follow this stuff pretty closely, are acutely aware of civil asset forfeiture. But I have doubts as to how well aware of this practice the rest of the herd is. I’m still pollyannaish enough to think that if the practice were more widely known, there would be considerable outrage.

            1. Hey, my kids heard about it on John Oliver, and they were really upset until the next show, when they were upset about whatever the hell he went off on that week.

          2. That’s right, no one wants to be considered ‘soft’ on drug users or Johns. Punish them disproportionately because they’re despicable scum! So ignorant and short-sighted. I don’t normally wish bad things on people, but I hope those who support these unlawful acts are someday on the receiving end of this ‘justice.’

            1. That’s right, no one wants to be considered ‘soft’ on drug users or Johns.

              And even though most of the people being robbed are never charged with, let alone convicted of, any crome at all, there’s still that prevailing attitude that if you’ve had something taken away from you by the police, then you’re probably a criminal, and whatever was taken was simply the proceeeds of your criminal activity.

              1. As much as I loathe Asset Forfeiture, I would love to see it used against the Kennedy family. After all, a majority of their wealth is a direct result of Joseph Kennedy’s illegal drug trafficking in the 1920s. Of course that would never happen because they’re the Kennedys.

            2. Reminds me of the female lawyer who wrote on editorial in the WSJ about boys getting railroaded by the colleges trying to handle sexual assault accusations. She stipulated that she was a feminist and all for getting rid of the sexual harassers and assaulters. BUT ! Her son was being treated unfairly. THAT she had a problem with.

              So I think for most people, until it’s their house getting seized, or their baby getting maimed by a grenade, (I could go on), they just won’t care. In fact, there will probably be an episode of NCIS soon on this very subject to help justify it.

              1. It seems most people are conditioned to automatically side with cops and people in positions of authority over the accused. After all, the accused got caught so they must be guilty of something. It’s only when they personally know an accused person that this fallacy collapses. A responsible media would expose these abuses. Unfortunately, we don’t have that.

      2. But why do the courts allow them to get away with it? This escalating theft is virtually ignored by the so-called lawmakers. And it makes me feel that if cops can flagrantly ignore our nation’s laws, why can’t we? The message seems to be that if you can get away with it, then it’s Ok. This is so infuriating!

        1. But why do the courts allow them to get away with it?

          Because $$$

          This escalating theft is virtually ignored by the so-called lawmakers.

          Again, $$$

          This is so infuriating!

          Yep. It’s absolutely appalling. Namely because it’s done so openly, despite being so clearly illegal.

          1. Yet we’re the ones at risk of losing everything since we commit Three Felonies a Day, and it’s only a matter of time until we’re caught. How many felonies a day do you suppose your average cop/judge/politician commits? Irrelevant question since they’d never be charged. Laws and jail are for us little people. I’m getting so drunk after work today…

            1. It won’t help. Tomorrow, the criminal regime will still be here, and you’ll have a hangover. :-/

        2. A crime is only a crime if someone is willing to prosecute it.

    2. because some spineless fuck in a robe says it is.

    3. You actually believe the constitution still means something? You live in a thuggish fascist police state, that has the truth about it revealed more and more every day and you still believe the lies you were taught in school about how this is a free country with democratic ideals. How cute. Time to open your eyes. Welcome to amerika.

    4. Simple. They (the DemoGOP) control the ballot boxes for the unverifiable votes that elect “both” looter parties. Once elected they appoint judges to the courts and hire on payroll (at your expense, including piss-screening) prostitutes (bought minds) who will believe ANYTHING they are paid to believe. If they can rob truckloads of raisins at gunpoint…

  4. Ugh. It took two decades for people to start even talking about undoing the damage from the tuff ahn craim laws passed in the 80s and 90s. This is not going to go well.

    1. It depends on getting out the vote. Once it dawns on objectivists that Goldwater lost and that leveraging spoiler votes changes the laws–ideological purity be damned–progress will accelerate. We are at a junction similar to 1912, when looter altruism accelerated as Teddy Roosevelt nationalsocialists and William Jennings Bryan communists joined forces and passed force laws. These could be repealed using communications technology and honest elections. Reversal of those trends is already well under weigh. The question now is how fast?

  5. You get more of what you reward

    The current regime financially rewards cops for busting people. The more assets the people have, the more the financial reward.

    Victimless crimes generate more assets than violent crimes. Ergo, you get more enforcement of victimless crimes.

    This ain’t rocket surgery.

    1. Incentives….how do they work ?

      1. Something something the wolf you feed.

    2. That’s exactly the line of thinking I had when reading that Colorado can literally take your land, house, and every single item in your house if a prostitution-related crime occurred there (would posting a Backpage ad count?). However, if you murdered someone in that same house your property is safe.

      Also, I don’t understand how these forfeitures aren’t being challenged on 8th amendment “excessive fines” grounds (SCOTUS already bastardized the 5th challenges). If you solicited a prostitute without being in your car then you’d get whatever the statutory penalty is – probably probation and a small fine. But if you do it while in your $60,000 car, that’s now part of the fine?

      It’s especially egregious seizing your car for DUI offenses – by definition you have to be driving in order to be guilty. But yet the statutory penalty is never “$500 fine, loss of license for 6 months, and forfeiture of your car”.

    3. Yes, finally! The Panic of 1907 had a lot to do with Moral Majority bullies legislating Christian values in the “free exercise” of brutal violence to ban all forms of pleasure. This carnaval of initiation of force naturally led to WWI. We have had a repeat with the Nixon-Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush institution of looter prohibitionism cloaked in the Will of God and an orgy of asset-forfeiture grabs. This accelerated under the banner of fighting godless communism then “islamofascist terrism” until finally the entire economy was crushed in the Bush II Regime of Asset Forfeiture. There are maps showing where asset forfeiture was thickest, and the red zones coincide with subprime mortgage property confiscations over a seed or roach, and the thing snowballed with added AML rules and the UN as a vehicle of prohibitionist looting.

  6. To make matters worse, police say the $15,000 Ruiz’s girlfriend put up for Ruiz’s bond is invalid, since that money should have been forfeited to them already.

    Oh, fer fuck’s sake. They set bail, then, when it was posted, kept it AND kept the guy in jail?

    Just when I think the Cop-Industrial Complex can’t sink any lower, they do.

    1. It’s like the plot to some awful thin blue line comic.

    2. Yeah, that stood out as particularly fucked.

    3. Is that a woodchipper I hear?

  7. * States with asset forfeiture for prostitution-related offenses: Alabama, Alasksa, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin

    So you’re saying that in these states, politicians are at risk of having all their stuff seized?

    1. That’s 41/50. Would have been simpler to list those states who don’t.

      1. Tell you what, all those people who don’t want to stay here and shoot themselves, raise their arms!

    2. So you’re saying that in these states, politicians are at risk of having all their stuff seized?

      Depends. Are they the “tough on crime” types that pick up the FOP’s endorsement every election cycle? If so, then their risk of being robbed in this fashion is probably miminal.

    3. YES! And this is the ticket for repeal. Citizens can use phone cameras to shadow politicians’ every move while the NSA taps their phones. Every politician indicted for tax evasion, furthering, encouraging, facilitating, thoughtcrime, ownlife and ungoodthinkfulness can be ripped flesh from bone and accounts and assets confiscated by his fellow looters. Herbert Hoover did exactly that when he let state income tax looters sift federal tax returns of magnates like Samuel Insull in 1933. FDR continued the policy somewhat, and laws changed real quick–though not often for better. As for honor among thieves, Jim Taggart asked “How can we ever be sure of anything?”

  8. Sex Work Government Revenue Generation and Civil Asset Forfeiture Increasingly Go Hand in Hand

    It’s a way of raising revenue–of stealing, of course, because that’s the only way the government raises revenue in the first place–that 1) requires no trial (ok, they’re going to like this one), 2) can often result in large sums in one shot, and 3) can be glommed on to many other situations so as to be performed. Meaning, “hey, wait a second! There’s this site called! They have a lot of money! We could totally charge them with X and Y, and then seize their shit! Let’s get the goon squad assembled!”

    The use of asset forfeiture will continue to rise exponentially as more and more prosecutors realize what they can do with it and see others expanding it to more areas.

    1. Read State Department and FATF publications. While you slept, armies of looter bureaucrats and diplomats convinced Europeans and Latinos to pass myriad seizure and forfeiture laws (or be against us!) Their purported motives were of course to thwart the hobgoblin of islamofascist terrism. But on adopting these treaties, laws and policies, foreign governments committed financial suicide while Geithner’s Treasury, the Fed and Wall street knew (finally) the inevitable outcome of these policies. Much of the US “recovery” was basically insider trading in derivatives markets shorting the new crop of suckers. He who causes the crash can see where it’s headed.

  9. OT

    NYT = We need to treat everyone just like college students, and make Rape impossible to deny

    Basically, change legal requirements that sexual assault proves “use of force”.

    Meaning, sans later-provable ” affirmative consent” (in writing?), its all Rape until she says it ain’t.

    1. Not only that, but that whole piece is based on a lie. The case has nothing to do with consent. Labrie maintains they never had sex at all.

    2. Something really bugs me. How is the boy saying no sex occurred and the girl saying it did happen make this story about consent? If no sex happened it doesn’t matter if she consented or not because no freaking sex happened.

      1. Plus, at age 15, she wouldn’t have legally been able to consent at all. If they had sex, it was at least statutory rape. Bazelon is lying like crazy.

        1. I don’t even think she’s lying. She just seems incredibly stupid. I don’t think she realizes that her article doesn’t relate to the case at hand.

          1. She either knows nothing at all about the case, or she’s lying. They’re pretty much equally bad. I’m not holding my breath for a correction.

            1. And regardless, this is exactly what fact-checkers are for. Shame on the editors.

        2. Mayella Euwell wuz telling the troof!

        3. So it turns out the kid was “cleared of the most serious charges

          He still got misdemeanor statutory (which is basically “don’t touch 15yr olds buddy”) and “using a computer to solicit a minor” (“dont tweet/sext 15yr olds, buddy”)…. which seems like token wrist-slaps to throw a bone (hiyo) to the plaintiff.

          Noted – and I guess i missed it in the editorial linked above – … NH is a state that *has the lower-bar for Rape which the author argues should be the standard nationally…

          “New Hampshire, unlike many other states, does not require prosecutors to show that force was involved to prove rape. In 1995, the state adopted language providing that guilt for sexual assault could be found if someone sexually penetrates another person when “the victim indicates by speech or conduct that there is not freely given consent.”

          It seems they just didn’t think he fucked her at all. OR that they didn’t buy her claims (which were contradictory) that she’s actually ever *said* “No”…though she says she certainly ‘felt like she meant it’.

          In short, it sounds like the jury tossed out her testimony as 100% unreliable and just prosecuted him on the known facts.

    3. We need to treat everyone just like college students

      That’s how they do it. They impose their idiotic laws onto kids and if that flies (and it usually does) then they expand it to everyone else. Can’t say I’m surprised there’s support for this nonsense.

  10. That’s right: cops can keep you in jail indefinitely, without convicting you of any crimes, because any money you might use to get out of jail is assumed to be the proceeds of the same criminal activity they haven’t yet proved on you.

    Sadly, this part of it has very much been intentional from the get-go. I mean, you wouldn’t want to let people defend themselves after enriching themselves via crime, would you?

    1. Of course not. In fact, legal fees have been declared civilly forfeit in federal court before. Drug prohibition (which isn’t in the Constitution) trumps the right to counsel (which is).

      1. I mean…they’re drugs!

        1. Drugs are bad m’kay?

      2. Sauerkraut was an illegal drug under the Prohibition Amendment, for yeast in it naturally generate over a half percent alcohol–the upper legal limit under the Volstead Act written to enforce prohibition down everyone’s throats at gunpoint. Raisins were seized not as loot, but as narcotic precursor chemicals, for exposed to rain they turn to wine. The same Prohibition Party that controlled the GOP from 1918 through today–and has been writing its platforms since 1928–has no clue what an individual is, much less individual rights. Its Mission From God, to use the violence of law to force everyone to kowtow to “christian” mores, prejudices and superstition, has spilled over indelibly into the Republican Party, as a pretext for robbery, looting and boodle.

  11. Completely OT: Can somebody please post the government is controlled by corporations so we need more government to control the corporations mantra? I’ve always loved that line of leftist circular logic yet I can’t quite remember the exact wording. Thanks in advance.

  12. Cadets, for your first traning film we will be watching Training Day.

  13. It should not be lost in the overall discussion that the stomping of has had quite a chilling fan-out effect. Quite a few other web sites, both agency and free-lance, have gone dark, or removed all information about their escorts.
    Money may well have been the primary driver, but it is inconceivable that the fan-out was not an extra added enticement.
    One would like to hope that the various sites and agencies would band together to fight this, but one is generally better off assuming the worst, safe in the knowledge one is still being an optimist.

    1. Yes! Classic textbook initiation of force for political and social engineering (and armed robbery)! You get to clean the erasers and an A in political economy.

  14. The Las Vegas “Pimp Investigation Team”

    A book by one of the “pit’s” lead investigators.

    Chris and the Las Vegas Pandering Investigation Team (PIT) wage war against the pimps who kidnap, trick, and beat women into submission and into a life of prostitution.

  15. Related: what I thought interesting is throughout this case from the time of the arrest the local media made it sound like the women were held captive at the massage parlor like prisoners. But when they were finally convicted them it sounds like that was not really the case and that they were free to come and go. When there is federal money for human trafficking then all prostitution will be human trafficking.…..eCaZ_lVg4k

    1. If you read the armistice papers the US separately made Germany and The Accursed Hun sign in 1919, the verbiage is shot through with references to narcotic drugs, chemical drugs and “traffic in women and children.” Both countries produced the lion’s share of genuinely addictive dope at the time, but the human trafficking language is remarkable for vagueness and lack of clarity. (Rape? forced or exploited labor? religious brainwashing? eugenic breeding?)

  16. Hey, I’d like to, uh, forfeit your assets, if ya know what I mean…and not do it civilly.

    1. Once he’s done, I’m going to need to get my hands on your huge tracts of land.

      /City of New London

  17. I wonder what barack thinks of this?

  18. I wonder if there is a woodchipper-averse Federal Attorney for the Southern District of New York getting his hands in this?

    Et tu, Preet Bharara?

  19. 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…… ??????

  20. Asset forfeiture is a lot like Naval Impressment, you had to prove you weren’t a deserter in order to be let go… if the Navy felt like it.

  21. Here is a scenario you might want to pay attention to…..guy gets on chat site for those over 18 years of age. Gets acquainted with a female who is playing the part….you know where I’m going with this, right? In the conversation the old “bate and switch” is used. Once they get him on the hook they “reveal” they are younger than 18 and if the guy starts to back away the pressure and enticement are laid on thick. When the guy goes to meet the “task force member” he is arrested and his vehicle is seized and sold BEFORE he gets any due process in St. Charles county Missouri.

  22. Crime is crime, there is no real distinction between “classes” of crime. And in NO CASE should any assets ever be seized and disposed of without a court of competent jurisdiction has convicted of a crime justifying the forfeiture. That Article of Ammendment declares ew have the right to be secure in our persond, houses, papers, and effects. What part of that justifies the taking as freebies anyone’s liberty or property of any sort?

    These clowns forget who is the source of authority. Ibstead they seem to thing that source is the origin of cash, not authority.

    1. The 4th Amendment got in the way of National Prohibition and the Sullivan, Marron and Donnelly decisions by 1927 had effectively nullified the Bill of Rights in favor of forfeitures–especially where beer shovers and kingpins were involved. Every such case brought sudden liquidations in securities markets with the twenties’ equivalents of flash crashes in the affected jurisdictions. What we are witnessing is a repeat, with weed and whatnot in the role of beer as the long-sought, furry-thighs, cloven-hoofed Satan. So you see their intentions were noble.

  23. Uncle Sam as “Uber Pimp”, sounds about right, and besides, think of the crying need for all that money.

  24. Asset forfeiture is just theft. It is just so abused.

  25. The key lesson to observe is that this organized robbery, transforming the political state into a criminal gang of pillaging looters, DESTROYS THE ENTIRE ECONOMY just as Adam Smith calculated and Ayn Rand reiterated. (She married Frank in 1929, witnessed the Depression and wrote 3 books about it). Elsewhere in the world the NSA can use phonetap blackmail to manipulate foreign politicians and spread the webwork even further through the good offices of the DEA, UN and State Department. The plague affecting Greece, especially, but all of Europe and South America, plus now China, is Made in USA. Search FATF, AML, TF, CFT, DNFBP, IRS-CID, INL, ICRG, GIABA, GAFISUD, FSRB, FIU, FinCEN, EAG and a host of other obfuscating acronyms.

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  27. Culture is changing. Attitudes of “freedom” lovers is getting in the way of the rule of law. This will always happen and there will be friction. Sex work for money if providing a safe environment for both parties isn’t so terrible, but the asset forfeiture is obscene in any culture. Ashley Madison ? Privacy issues or law breaking? Hmm?!

  28. More to the point is that this class of robberies have enabled prohibitionism and 1848 income tax fanaticism to prop each other up. When the economy collapsed during Mabel Willebrandt and Herb Hoover’s asset-forfeiture approach to enforcement, it was asset forfeiture and prison terms that destroyed it. The fact is plainly set forth in the daily newspapers all through 1932, to the discomfiture of the Republican Party. Once taxpayers understand that the promiscuous and predatory initiation of force makes them jobless and wipes out their retirement savings, they will stop listening to coercive televangelists and looter lobbies and start voting libertarian.

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