The Heat: US civil asset forfeiture controversy

The Heat

The Heat: US civil asset forfeiture controversy

Civil asset forfeiture is a legal tool that gives U.S. law enforcement the power to seize property and money suspected of being related to a crime, but the practice is controversial.

Originally it was seen as a way for police to target drug-trafficking and money laundering rings, but law enforcement agencies across the United States now face growing criticism over allegations of widespread abuse of the practice.

CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports from Denver.

The Heat: US civil asset forfeiture controversy pt1

The Heat: US civil asset forfeiture controversy pt1

Civil asset forfeiture is a legal tool that gives U.S. law enforcement the power to seize property and money suspected of being related to a crime, but the practice is controversial. Originally it was seen as a way for police to target drug-trafficking and money laundering rings, but law enforcement agencies across the United States now face growing criticism over allegations of widespread abuse of the practice. CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports from Denver.


The Heat: US civil asset forfeiture controversy pt2

The Heat: US civil asset forfeiture controversy pt2

Civil asset forfeiture is a legal tool that gives U.S. law enforcement the power to seize property and money suspected of being related to a crime, but the practice is controversial. Originally it was seen as a way for police to target drug-trafficking and money laundering rings, but law enforcement agencies across the United States now face growing criticism over allegations of widespread abuse of the practice. The Heat was joined by the following guests: From Kansas City, Missouri, Eapen Thampy joined The Heat. Thampy is the Founder and Executive Director of Americans for Forfeiture Reform. In the CCTV America Washington, D.C. studio is Stefan Cassella. He is a federal prosecutor, who was one of the U.S. government’s leading experts on asset forfeiture and money laundering for over 30 years. From New York, The Heat was joined by Richard Bistrong. He is the CEO of Front-line Anti-bribery. Bistrong served 18 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The Heat was joined by the following guests:

  • From Kansas City, Missouri, Eapen Thampy joined The Heat. Thampy is the Founder and Executive Director of Americans for Forfeiture Reform.
  • In the CCTV America Washington, D.C. studio is Stefan Cassella. He is a federal prosecutor, who was one of the U.S. government’s leading experts on asset forfeiture and money laundering for over 30 years.
  • From New York, The Heat was joined by Richard Bistrong. He is the CEO of Front-line Anti-bribery. Bistrong served 18 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
  • M. Lisa Lawler

    (Edited)

    Innocent spouses and children of white collar criminals are the first
    victims of white collar crime and are also innocent victims of asset
    seizure. But nobody ever cares about or mentions them because they are
    guilty by association. Guilt by association does not make one guilty of a crime yet the public as well as the federal government seem to think
    so. It’s a modern day witch hunt for white collar wives and families as the public shuns them and the feds come unannounced and seize everything
    they can like the Grinch, not leaving a crumb and with no remorse. It makes no difference to law enforcement what property is “guilty”. In the eyes of the law “all property is guilty”. Several women have described to me their horrific encounters with asset seizure. In one case a child’s birthday money was ripped from a card and taken into receivership. Another woman’s vehicle was seized leaving her to walk
    with two of her small children many miles to pick up her older children
    from school during a sleet storm while the receivers loaded up the
    contents of her long time home and older model vehicle. Nobody even
    offered her or her children a ride in the freezing cold storm. Another
    woman tells of her wedding rings being slipped off of her finger that
    had been given to her LONG BEFORE her husband committed any crime.
    Until and unless sanctioned asset seizure/forfeiture is done in a manner
    that truly compensates victims fully rather than incentivizing and
    creating wealth for local and federal jurisdictions, not a single white
    collar wife or family should be left with nothing. This barbaric
    practice needs to stop creating more victims and is in desperate need of
    revamping.

    M. Lisa Lawler
    Director
    The White Collar Wives Project
    whitecollarwivesclub.blogspot.com