Even Petty Offences Lead to Seizures

However, it is not just the high profile or the wealthy who suffer at the hands of government srizuie and forfeiture laws. The list of those who have lost their property goes on to inelu many ordinary people leading ordinary lives. In fact, relatively small seizures are markedly on the rise. As the cost of mounting a defense to have such funds returned often exceeds the actual amount taken by government in the first place, many fail to protest their unjust treatment at the hands of Big Brother. Instead they just take the lashing and walk away. Perhaps they understand that even if they did mount some sort of defense, nothing would come of it. Once Big Brother has stolen your money, he will almost never return it. To justify his actions, the list of offenses for which your property can be seized includes a multitude of what can be considered petty offenses.
What happens if you are a two-finger typist and make a few mistakes on one of those almighty government forms in triplicate? You forfeit the assets concerned. In Texas, US Customs officials seized a Lear jet because a few typographical errors were found on paperwork submitted to the Federal Aviation Authority. Again, in New Jersey, all of the equipment of a construction company was seized. Why? It was discovered that the company concerned was technically ineligible to participate in three municipal projects it had bid on. Similarly, US Customs officials seized US $113,000 from a Vietnamese woman. It didn’t matter even slightly to Uncle Sam that this money was meant to be used as humanitarian aid for families in Vietnam. What had the woman done wrong? According to Big Brother, she had violated the Trading with the Enemy Act.
In some cases, particularly those concerning cash seizures, not even probable cause need be demonstrated. A seven year study conducted by Toxicology Consultants, Inc in Miami has found that 96 per cent of all currency in circulation in major American cities contains cocaine residues. Yet law enforcement officials still grant themselves the right to seize cash from you if one of their sniffer dogs gets excited. Apparently it doesn’t matter to them that dear old Rover will smell drugs on almost all cash currently in circulation. Big Brother likes this arrangement. It seems that he has even gone to the trouble of contaminating large amounts of cash himself. In 1985, a DEA lab issued a classified report which stated that the Federal Reserve itself “may be contaminating the currency through normal procedures”. Apparently belts used in their high speed sorting machines quickly become contaminated with drug residues from dirty cash and then go on to contaminate the rest of the moolah.
Today, possessing large amounts of cash is considered to be akin to criminal behavior. According to Big Brother, anyone who still prefers to conduct his affairs in cold, hard cash must either be a drug dealer or money launderer or both. To further its goals, your government has gone to the trouble of arranging it so that any amount of cash over a few hundred dollars carried by any citizen anywhere in public can legally be seized. Even hiding large amounts of cash in your home could lead you to trouble, as your government can also legally break into your home and tear it apart merely on the grounds of probable cause or circumstantial evidence. Any valuables found will be seized as the assumed proceeds of criminal activity. It is then your responsibility to prove otherwise.
Proving anything regarding such valuables or cash in your possession will be next to impossible. To begin with, before you can do anything you will have to wait for some anonymous bureaucrat to file what is known as a civil forfeiture complaint. This could take up to 18 months. Finally, even if you are successful in getting Big Brother to hand back what ik rightfully yours, he bears no responsibility for any damage your property may have mffhmi while in bis care. Not surprisingly, a great deal of seized property simply turns up missing once the courts tell Big Brother to hand it back. Again, you lose, only this time after a great deal of expended effort and frustration. Big Brother need not pay any of your legal expenses even if he admits to having wrongfully seized your possessions. Again he need just show probable cause.
Clearly this outright theft conducted by government is a growing trend. It is being actively encouraged within every government agency. On offer is one of the best incentives known to mankind, cold hard cash, your cash that is. Generally, the agency responsible for the seizure gets to keep part of the booty, often up to 80 per cent of the amount seized. With that sort of stake on offer, bureaucrats and government stooges run wildly ahead with little regard for who suffers. In 1991, The Pittsburgh Press released one of the most comprehensive reports on seizures ever put together. What did they find? That of the 25,000 DEA seizures reviewed, only 20 per cent resulted in the victim concerned being charged with a crime. In other words, in four out of five cases, those concerned were never charged with any crime. Such statistics clearly show how the innocent suffer at the hands of government seizure laws. This should come as no surprise. The US Customs Service itself admits that 42 per cent of its seizures are in error.