1. #1

    FBI misled judge who signed warrant for Beverly Hills seizure of $86 million in cash

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/fbi-misle...120002250.html
    The privacy invasion was vast when FBI agents drilled and pried their way into 1,400 safe-deposit boxes at the U.S. Private Vaults store in Beverly Hills.

    They rummaged through personal belongings of a jazz saxophone player, an interior designer, a retired doctor, a flooring contractor, two Century City lawyers and hundreds of others.

    Agents took photos and videos of pay stubs, password lists, credit cards, a prenuptial agreement, immigration and vaccination records, bank statements, heirlooms and a will, court records show. In one box, agents found cremated human remains.

    Eighteen months later, newly unsealed court documents show that the FBI and U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles got their warrant for that raid by misleading the judge who approved it.

    They omitted from their warrant request a central part of the FBI's plan: Permanent confiscation of everything inside every box containing at least $5,000 in cash or goods, a senior FBI agent recently testified.

    The FBI’s justification for the dragnet forfeiture was its presumption that hundreds of unknown box holders were all storing assets somehow tied to unknown crimes, court records show.

    It took five days for scores of agents to fill their evidence bags with the bounty: More than $86 million in cash and a bonanza of gold, silver, rare coins, gem-studded jewelry and enough Rolex and Cartier watches to stock a boutique.

    The U.S. attorney’s office has tried to block public disclosure of court papers that laid bare the government's deception, but a judge rejected its request to keep them under seal.

    The failure to disclose the confiscation plan in the warrant request came to light in FBI documents and depositions of agents in a class-action lawsuit by box holders who say the raid violated their rights.

    The court filings also show that federal agents defied restrictions that U.S. Magistrate Judge Steve Kim set in the warrant by searching through box holders' belongings for evidence of crimes.

    "The government did not know what was in those boxes, who owned them, or what, if anything, those people had done," Robert Frommer, a lawyer who represents nearly 400 box holders in the class-action case, wrote in court papers.
    The link has a lot more information. It is good to see the FBI and Cops continually stealing money from innocent people. /s Asset forfeiture laws seriously need a huge change in this country.

    Update: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/judge...151208180.html
    A judge has ruled the March 2021 FBI raid of US Private Vaults did not violate the Fourth Amendment.

    Deposit-box holders whose property was seized in the raid and has not been returned sued the bureau.

    A lawyer involved in the class action said the raid was the "largest armed robbery in US history."

    A judge ruled on September 29 that federal agents who raided 1,400 safe-deposit boxes in March 2021 at a private vault company did not violate search and seizure laws, court documents shared with Insider show.

    A lawsuit filed in August alleged the FBI and the US attorney's office in Los Angeles obtained warrants against US Private Vaults in Beverly Hills, California, by concealing critical details from the judge who approved them.

    In his ruling, District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner found no impropriety in the way the government got or executed the warrants for the raid. He dismissed the class-action suit filed on behalf of the people whose boxes had been seized.

    The vault company was shut down following the raid and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder drug money.

    Laura Eimiller, a spokesperson for the FBI, told Insider: "Today's District Court ruling makes it clear that agents investigating criminal activity at US Private Vaults did not mislead the court and affirms the FBI's position that the investigation was conducted without malice and in a manner consistent with the law, FBI policies and the US Constitution."

    The lawsuit was filed after FBI agents raided the Beverly Hills branch of US Private Vaults, seizing more than $86 million in cash, as well as jewelry and gold from 1,400 safe-deposit boxes. It said owners' items still had not been returned and that agents misled a judge to get the warrant.

    None of the people who owned the boxes has been charged after almost five years of investigating; various agencies concluded "the problem was the business itself," court documents said.

    Regarding the unreturned items, Eimiller said that agents "outlined evidence of widespread criminal wrongdoing in court filings while establishing a simple procedure to return safeguarded contents to box holders who were not otherwise subject to asset forfeiture."

    Robert Frommer, a lawyer representing at least 400 plaintiffs in the class-action suit, said in an earlier filing that the government "did not know what was in those boxes, who owned them, or what, if anything, those people had done."

    "The scope of what the FBI did is unprecedented," Frommer said. "This was the largest armed robbery in United States history, and it was committed by the FBI."

    In new emails with Insider, Frommer confirmed that they intended to appeal the ruling.

    Rob Johnson, an attorney who works with Frommer, described the ruling as a "shocking decision" that "will set a dangerous precedent that will allow the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to bypass the Fourth Amendment.

    "The decision will give a blueprint for the government to pry open safe-deposit boxes, storage lockers, and other private spaces," he said, "and to take the contents with civil forfeiture."

    Johnson added: "There is no question that we will be filing an appeal."

    "FBI stands by its ongoing investigation of US Private Vaults," Eimiller said, "a business that criminally facilitated drug trafficking and money laundering, and which allowed customers to store their criminal proceeds anonymously in safe-deposit boxes."

    According to the court papers, US Private Vaults solicited criminal clientele on its website, saying the less it knew about its customers, the better. The company advertised its services to help customers "avoid 'government agencies (such as the IRS) or attorneys armed with court orders.'"

    Documents also said US Private Vaults did not rent solely to criminal customers and many customers used its services for legitimate reasons.
    Last edited by Deus Mortis; 2022-10-08 at 11:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Guess this means Trump is innocent after all!
    Quote Originally Posted by Deus Mortis View Post
    /s

  3. #3
    Pit Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by s_bushido View Post
    Guess this means Trump is innocent after all!

    I mean, he's right that the civil asset forfeiture laws are legitimately just government sanctioned theft. It's bad enough that even foreign travelers to the US get warned not to carry anything with them that the police can steal.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynarii View Post
    I mean, he's right that the civil asset forfeiture laws are legitimately just government sanctioned theft. It's bad enough that even foreign travelers to the US get warned not to carry anything with them that the police can steal.
    I just find it convenient how...certain people...only seem to suddenly care about abuses of power in US law enforcement when it became "political." And not any time during the past couple of years during the massive protests that will remain nameless.

  5. #5
    Pit Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by s_bushido View Post
    I just find it convenient how...certain people...only seem to suddenly care about abuses of power in US law enforcement when it became "political." And not any time during the past couple of years during the massive protests that will remain nameless.
    To be fair, Deus Mortis has posted on police issues quite regularly, and has generally shown concern with open abuses of power. So while I would agree with you on a lot of people, I'm willing to take this one at face value. Especially since it is a valid topic of conversation that frankly needs to keep having attention drawn to it until people are outraged enough to push for fixes.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by s_bushido View Post
    I just find it convenient how...certain people...only seem to suddenly care about abuses of power in US law enforcement when it became "political." And not any time during the past couple of years during the massive protests that will remain nameless.
    I have been pretty open on these forums that I am generally pro police, but I have also stated I want massive reforms in the departments. I want to see things like body cams for ALL departments, I want training more akin to what other Nordic countries have which is closer to three years instead of 6 fucking months like in the US, which is not even close to enough time to properly train officers in what the US expects them to handle. I want a shit load more accountability. I wrote a paper for one of my college classes a couple years ago on the militarization of the police force, in it an example I used was how I found it disgusting that local police departments were using MRAP's during the 2014 Ferguson protests to quell protesters. I am glad to see these vehicles now going to Ukraine where they are needed instead of to small towns, and cities local department where they are absolutely not needed.

    Hitting the point of abuse of powers and politics, Trump is a perfect example of doing just that. You will not see me shed a single tear when he is charged for that abuse and the crimes he committed. He is an absolute stain on America.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynarii View Post
    To be fair, Deus Mortis has posted on police issues quite regularly, and has generally shown concern with open abuses of power. So while I would agree with you on a lot of people, I'm willing to take this one at face value. Especially since it is a valid topic of conversation that frankly needs to keep having attention drawn to it until people are outraged enough to push for fixes.
    Appreciate it. I always try and find body cam footage of events and when I do you will see me post the time stamps, and I give my opinion. When I just take the cops word for it and link/post what they are saying before the bodycam, it at times leads to egg on my face like it did in Ulvade. This story happened to catch my eye because of how large the scope of it was, and the fact that it involved the FBI as well as multiple local police departments who want some of the money that was seized.
    Last edited by Deus Mortis; 2022-09-24 at 05:17 PM.

  7. #7
    That's fucking disgusting...

  8. #8
    Update: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/judge...151208180.html

    A judge has ruled the March 2021 FBI raid of US Private Vaults did not violate the Fourth Amendment.

    Deposit-box holders whose property was seized in the raid and has not been returned sued the bureau.

    A lawyer involved in the class action said the raid was the "largest armed robbery in US history."

    A judge ruled on September 29 that federal agents who raided 1,400 safe-deposit boxes in March 2021 at a private vault company did not violate search and seizure laws, court documents shared with Insider show.

    A lawsuit filed in August alleged the FBI and the US attorney's office in Los Angeles obtained warrants against US Private Vaults in Beverly Hills, California, by concealing critical details from the judge who approved them.

    In his ruling, District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner found no impropriety in the way the government got or executed the warrants for the raid. He dismissed the class-action suit filed on behalf of the people whose boxes had been seized.

    The vault company was shut down following the raid and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder drug money.

    Laura Eimiller, a spokesperson for the FBI, told Insider: "Today's District Court ruling makes it clear that agents investigating criminal activity at US Private Vaults did not mislead the court and affirms the FBI's position that the investigation was conducted without malice and in a manner consistent with the law, FBI policies and the US Constitution."

    The lawsuit was filed after FBI agents raided the Beverly Hills branch of US Private Vaults, seizing more than $86 million in cash, as well as jewelry and gold from 1,400 safe-deposit boxes. It said owners' items still had not been returned and that agents misled a judge to get the warrant.

    None of the people who owned the boxes has been charged after almost five years of investigating; various agencies concluded "the problem was the business itself," court documents said.

    Regarding the unreturned items, Eimiller said that agents "outlined evidence of widespread criminal wrongdoing in court filings while establishing a simple procedure to return safeguarded contents to box holders who were not otherwise subject to asset forfeiture."

    Robert Frommer, a lawyer representing at least 400 plaintiffs in the class-action suit, said in an earlier filing that the government "did not know what was in those boxes, who owned them, or what, if anything, those people had done."

    "The scope of what the FBI did is unprecedented," Frommer said. "This was the largest armed robbery in United States history, and it was committed by the FBI."

    In new emails with Insider, Frommer confirmed that they intended to appeal the ruling.

    Rob Johnson, an attorney who works with Frommer, described the ruling as a "shocking decision" that "will set a dangerous precedent that will allow the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to bypass the Fourth Amendment.

    "The decision will give a blueprint for the government to pry open safe-deposit boxes, storage lockers, and other private spaces," he said, "and to take the contents with civil forfeiture."

    Johnson added: "There is no question that we will be filing an appeal."

    "FBI stands by its ongoing investigation of US Private Vaults," Eimiller said, "a business that criminally facilitated drug trafficking and money laundering, and which allowed customers to store their criminal proceeds anonymously in safe-deposit boxes."

    According to the court papers, US Private Vaults solicited criminal clientele on its website, saying the less it knew about its customers, the better. The company advertised its services to help customers "avoid 'government agencies (such as the IRS) or attorneys armed with court orders.'"

    Documents also said US Private Vaults did not rent solely to criminal customers and many customers used its services for legitimate reasons.
    All this wrong doing the FBI says occurred, yet neither article has mentioned anyone being arrested....

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