The FBI Robs a Bank

 

Well, not technically a bank, but the utter lack of principle is the same. US Private Vaults was a private safety deposit box business in Beverly Hills, CA. An FBI agent “suspected” that its owners were involved in laundering drug money (an allegation that was never proven in court, by the way). On that basis, the FBI moved in and seized every lockbox on the site – most of which belonged to people who were not dealing drugs or laundering drug money.

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 got the warrant, but they never told the judge they planned to confiscate everything under our gangster Government’s corrupt asset forfeiture laws. And as is usual with the thoroughly corrupt FBI, they are refusing to release to the public the papers they filed with the court before they raided the operation; which seems to be standard procedure for Merrick Garland’s DOJ.

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 FBI’s take amounted to some $86 million dollars. When some of the depositors asked for their possessions back, the FBI threatened to charge them with crimes. Most people gave up rather than spend tens of thousands of dollars and fighting in court for years to get their stuff back. David French calls spending tens of thousands of dollars in court to have your rights returned a “blessing of liberty.” I call it Gangster Government.

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Yep

    https://ricochet.com/1316528/the-fbi-is-totally-corrupt/

    Nice video on it.

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Is there no end to their defiance and corruption? I’m really getting scared. . . 

    • #2
  3. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Is there no end to their defiance and corruption? I’m really getting scared. . .

    Does not appear to be.

    It is clear, at the agent level, they relish this stuuff.

    • #3
  4. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    When we are all switched to FedCoin™ the Fibbies will be all to seize all those assets from the comfort of their desk chairs.  Won’t that be convenient for them.   

    • #4
  5. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    By what twisted logic does the FBI think that it becoming the enemy of the people is a good idea? 

    • #5
  6. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    David Carroll (View Comment):

    By what twisted logic does the FBI think that it becoming the enemy of the people is a good idea?

    Obviously, the FBI et al figure that it’s the people who should fear becoming the enemy of the FBI.

    • #6
  7. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    David Carroll (View Comment):

    By what twisted logic does the FBI think that it becoming the enemy of the people is a good idea?

    Logic?   This is one of those “Why does a dog lick it’s ____?“   Because it can.

    • #7
  8. EODmom Coolidge
    EODmom
    @EODmom

    David Carroll (View Comment):

    By what twisted logic does the FBI think that it becoming the enemy of the people is a good idea?

    That part of the Power organism hopes to be a survivor after the final Transformation is complete – if they just play along now they will still have a spot in the hierarchy. After all – totalitarians always need lower level thugs. People can always be persuaded to squeal on their neighbors.  

    • #8
  9. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Have any of the Republican mice in Congress had anything to squeak about this? 

    • #9
  10. Rōnin Coolidge
    Rōnin
    @Ronin

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, the FBI does not solve crimes – they manage them.

    • #10
  11. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Rōnin (View Comment):

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, the FBI does not solve crimes – they manage them.

    Where they aren’t actually committing them.

    • #11
  12. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Have any of the Republican mice in Congress had anything to squeak about this?

    Not if they don’t want to be targeted themselves.

    • #12
  13. Rōnin Coolidge
    Rōnin
    @Ronin

     

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Yep

    https://ricochet.com/1316528/the-fbi-is-totally-corrupt/

    Nice video on it.

    I understand from an old British retired military and civil service friend that after the Second World War it became a thing in the U.K. for affluent (i.e. rich) people to hide a portion of their wealth in bank safe deposit boxes, so they could declared their taxable worth at a lower rate than it actually was.  I understand that this became such a thing that a “black market” sprung up where otherwise taxable assists were converted to items such as cash, art work, documents, valuable antiques, precious stones and metals,  etc. – to be stored in a bank that you only have access to and not the government.  Anyway, these “items” could then be “bartered” between individuals for other assists and kept it “off the books” as it were.

    This became such a practice that by the end of the 1960s both the affluent and not-so-affluent (to include some members of royalty) were hiding documents (think blackmail) and hording wealth as a way to protect it from the government.  There is a rather good crime noir film (supposedly based on true events) from 2008 call “The Bank Job,” starring Jason Statham whose plot is based on – you guessed it – a bank vault safety box robbery to steal these hidden assist.  The kick is, the British Government may have had a hand it  this (wink-wink, nudge-nudge, you know what I mean) to retrieve certain item(s).  Who needs Jeffry Epstein to gather your dirt when you can just walk in and get it yourself?

    • #13
  14. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    I think that Garland and Wray are wrecking any presumption of good faith and professionalism of federal law enforcement.  

    Not only was there no discharge of a legal duty to demonstrate illegal activity to justify a civil forfeiture (there is no criminal forfeiture here) but due process has been denied to the innocent by refusing to provide very basic information.

    Federal judges need to reclaim their authority and start issuing fines, jail time and lost law licenses for this kind of lawlessness.

    • #14
  15. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    I think that Garland and Wray are wrecking any presumption of good faith and professionalism of federal law enforcement.

    Not only was there no discharge of a legal duty to demonstrate illegal activity to justify a civil forfeiture (there is no criminal forfeiture here) but due process has been denied to the innocent by refusing to provide very basic information.

    Federal judges need to reclaim their authority and start issuing fines, jail time and lost law licenses for this kind of lawlessness.

    The LA Times article is very detailed and unsympathetic to the feds. 

    • #15
  16. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Rōnin (View Comment):

     

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Yep

    https://ricochet.com/1316528/the-fbi-is-totally-corrupt/

    Nice video on it.

    I understand from an old British retired military and civil service friend that after the Second World War it became a thing in the U.K. for affluent (i.e. rich) people to hide a portion of their wealth in bank safe deposit boxes, so they could declared their taxable worth at a lower rate than it actually was. I understand that this became such a thing that a “black market” sprung up where otherwise taxable assists were converted to items such as cash, art work, documents, valuable antiques, precious stones and metals, etc. – to be stored in a bank that you only have access to and not the government. Anyway, these “items” could then be “bartered” between individuals for other assists and kept it “off the books” as it were.

    This became such a practice that by the end of the 1960s both the affluent and not-so-affluent (to include some members of royalty) were hiding documents (think blackmail) and hording wealth as a way to protect it from the government. There is a rather good crime noir film (supposedly based on true events) from 2008 call “The Bank Job,” starring Jason Statham whose plot is based on – you guessed it – a bank vault safety box robbery to steal these hidden assist. The kick is, the British Government may have had a hand it this (wink-wink, nudge-nudge, you know what I mean) to retrieve certain item(s). Who needs Jeffry Epstein to gather your dirt when you can just walk in and get it yourself?

     

    There’s some scenes in the live-action Thunderbirds movie that seem related.

    • #16
  17. Chris B Member
    Chris B
    @ChrisB

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    I think that Garland and Wray are wrecking any presumption of good faith and professionalism of federal law enforcement.

    Not only was there no discharge of a legal duty to demonstrate illegal activity to justify a civil forfeiture (there is no criminal forfeiture here) but due process has been denied to the innocent by refusing to provide very basic information.

    Federal judges need to reclaim their authority and start issuing fines, jail time and lost law licenses for this kind of lawlessness.

    The judge, having learned that the FBI has taken possession of items not authorized by the warrant under the guise of executing the warrant, should order the immediate return of all such material to its rightful owners, and should bar any of it from use as evidence. That he has not done so makes the judge equally culpable in this illegal taking.

    The judge, the agents involved, and their superiors who authorized the search should all be held personally liable. No claim of sovereign immunity should be considered, since the taking was in violation of the law.

    • #17
  18. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Chris B (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    I think that Garland and Wray are wrecking any presumption of good faith and professionalism of federal law enforcement.

    Not only was there no discharge of a legal duty to demonstrate illegal activity to justify a civil forfeiture (there is no criminal forfeiture here) but due process has been denied to the innocent by refusing to provide very basic information.

    Federal judges need to reclaim their authority and start issuing fines, jail time and lost law licenses for this kind of lawlessness.

    The judge, having learned that the FBI has taken possession of items not authorized by the warrant under the guise of executing the warrant, should order the immediate return of all such material to its rightful owners, and should bar any of it from use as evidence. That he has not done so makes the judge equally culpable in this illegal taking.

    The judge, the agents involved, and their superiors who authorized the search should all be held personally liable. No claim of sovereign immunity should be considered, since the taking was in violation of the law.

    One thing I noticed in the earlier stories/videos was that the warrant precluded searching through the boxes etc for CRIMINAL prosecution/forfeiture.  But they’ve been trying to do CIVIL forfeiture.

    • #18
  19. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Chris B (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    I think that Garland and Wray are wrecking any presumption of good faith and professionalism of federal law enforcement.

    Not only was there no discharge of a legal duty to demonstrate illegal activity to justify a civil forfeiture (there is no criminal forfeiture here) but due process has been denied to the innocent by refusing to provide very basic information.

    Federal judges need to reclaim their authority and start issuing fines, jail time and lost law licenses for this kind of lawlessness.

    The judge, having learned that the FBI has taken possession of items not authorized by the warrant under the guise of executing the warrant, should order the immediate return of all such material to its rightful owners, and should bar any of it from use as evidence. That he has not done so makes the judge equally culpable in this illegal taking.

    The judge, the agents involved, and their superiors who authorized the search should all be held personally liable. No claim of sovereign immunity should be considered, since the taking was in violation of the law.

    One thing I noticed in the earlier stories/videos was that the warrant precluded searching through the boxes etc for CRIMINAL prosecution/forfeiture. But they’ve been trying to do CIVIL forfeiture.

    But even civil forfeiture requires a showing of criminal activity. The notion that my box is government property because another box in the vault was used by a suspected criminal is preposterous.

    • #19
  20. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Chris B (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    I think that Garland and Wray are wrecking any presumption of good faith and professionalism of federal law enforcement.

    Not only was there no discharge of a legal duty to demonstrate illegal activity to justify a civil forfeiture (there is no criminal forfeiture here) but due process has been denied to the innocent by refusing to provide very basic information.

    Federal judges need to reclaim their authority and start issuing fines, jail time and lost law licenses for this kind of lawlessness.

    The judge, having learned that the FBI has taken possession of items not authorized by the warrant under the guise of executing the warrant, should order the immediate return of all such material to its rightful owners, and should bar any of it from use as evidence. That he has not done so makes the judge equally culpable in this illegal taking.

    The judge, the agents involved, and their superiors who authorized the search should all be held personally liable. No claim of sovereign immunity should be considered, since the taking was in violation of the law.

    One thing I noticed in the earlier stories/videos was that the warrant precluded searching through the boxes etc for CRIMINAL prosecution/forfeiture. But they’ve been trying to do CIVIL forfeiture.

    But even civil forfeiture requires a showing of criminal activity. The notion that my box is government property because another box in the vault was used by a suspected criminal is preposterous.

     No it does not.

    CAF does not require you to be showing any criminal activity. 

    • #20
  21. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Chris B (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    I think that Garland and Wray are wrecking any presumption of good faith and professionalism of federal law enforcement.

    Not only was there no discharge of a legal duty to demonstrate illegal activity to justify a civil forfeiture (there is no criminal forfeiture here) but due process has been denied to the innocent by refusing to provide very basic information.

    Federal judges need to reclaim their authority and start issuing fines, jail time and lost law licenses for this kind of lawlessness.

    The judge, having learned that the FBI has taken possession of items not authorized by the warrant under the guise of executing the warrant, should order the immediate return of all such material to its rightful owners, and should bar any of it from use as evidence. That he has not done so makes the judge equally culpable in this illegal taking.

    The judge, the agents involved, and their superiors who authorized the search should all be held personally liable. No claim of sovereign immunity should be considered, since the taking was in violation of the law.

    One thing I noticed in the earlier stories/videos was that the warrant precluded searching through the boxes etc for CRIMINAL prosecution/forfeiture. But they’ve been trying to do CIVIL forfeiture.

    But even civil forfeiture requires a showing of criminal activity. The notion that my box is government property because another box in the vault was used by a suspected criminal is preposterous.

    No it does not.

    CAF does not require you to be showing any criminal activity.

    Civil forfeiture still has to have some connection to unlawful behavior. If the feds come and take your car, they needed to tell whoever issued the warrant that it was used in or purchased from the proceeds from something unlawful even if not done by you. 
    You are right that criminal forfeiture is only of stuff owned by the person charged so a criminal charge/prosecution is required whereas civil does not require a charge or conviction just an alleged connection to something criminal. 
    Now, it is out of control. Civil forfeiture has become a big middle finger at the Fourth and Fifth Amendment. We desperately need reform.

    • #21
  22. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Chris B (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    I think that Garland and Wray are wrecking any presumption of good faith and professionalism of federal law enforcement.

    Not only was there no discharge of a legal duty to demonstrate illegal activity to justify a civil forfeiture (there is no criminal forfeiture here) but due process has been denied to the innocent by refusing to provide very basic information.

    Federal judges need to reclaim their authority and start issuing fines, jail time and lost law licenses for this kind of lawlessness.

    The judge, having learned that the FBI has taken possession of items not authorized by the warrant under the guise of executing the warrant, should order the immediate return of all such material to its rightful owners, and should bar any of it from use as evidence. That he has not done so makes the judge equally culpable in this illegal taking.

    The judge, the agents involved, and their superiors who authorized the search should all be held personally liable. No claim of sovereign immunity should be considered, since the taking was in violation of the law.

    One thing I noticed in the earlier stories/videos was that the warrant precluded searching through the boxes etc for CRIMINAL prosecution/forfeiture. But they’ve been trying to do CIVIL forfeiture.

    But even civil forfeiture requires a showing of criminal activity. The notion that my box is government property because another box in the vault was used by a suspected criminal is preposterous.

    No it does not.

    CAF does not require you to be showing any criminal activity.

    Civil forfeiture still has to have some connection to unlawful behavior. If the feds come and take your car, they needed to tell whoever issued the warrant that it was used in or purchased from the proceeds from something unlawful even if not done by you.
    You are right that criminal forfeiture is only of stuff owned by the person charged so a criminal charge/prosecution is required whereas civil does not require a charge or conviction just an alleged connection to something criminal.
    Now, it is out of control. Civil forfeiture has become a big middle finger at the Fourth and Fifth Amendment. We desperately need reform.

    From what I understand, civil forfeiture only has to be presumed to have been part of some illegal process, and that can exist only in the mind of the officer, without any evidence whatsoever.  $2,000 in cash in the possession of a tourist?  It’s presumed it must be illegal, and it gets taken.

    • #22
  23. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Chris B (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    I think that Garland and Wray are wrecking any presumption of good faith and professionalism of federal law enforcement.

    Not only was there no discharge of a legal duty to demonstrate illegal activity to justify a civil forfeiture (there is no criminal forfeiture here) but due process has been denied to the innocent by refusing to provide very basic information.

    Federal judges need to reclaim their authority and start issuing fines, jail time and lost law licenses for this kind of lawlessness.

    The judge, having learned that the FBI has taken possession of items not authorized by the warrant under the guise of executing the warrant, should order the immediate return of all such material to its rightful owners, and should bar any of it from use as evidence. That he has not done so makes the judge equally culpable in this illegal taking.

    The judge, the agents involved, and their superiors who authorized the search should all be held personally liable. No claim of sovereign immunity should be considered, since the taking was in violation of the law.

    One thing I noticed in the earlier stories/videos was that the warrant precluded searching through the boxes etc for CRIMINAL prosecution/forfeiture. But they’ve been trying to do CIVIL forfeiture.

    But even civil forfeiture requires a showing of criminal activity. The notion that my box is government property because another box in the vault was used by a suspected criminal is preposterous.

    No it does not.

    CAF does not require you to be showing any criminal activity.

    Civil forfeiture still has to have some connection to unlawful behavior. If the feds come and take your car, they needed to tell whoever issued the warrant that it was used in or purchased from the proceeds from something unlawful even if not done by you.
    You are right that criminal forfeiture is only of stuff owned by the person charged so a criminal charge/prosecution is required whereas civil does not require a charge or conviction just an alleged connection to something criminal.
    Now, it is out of control. Civil forfeiture has become a big middle finger at the Fourth and Fifth Amendment. We desperately need reform.

    No it does not. They can declare that your money is guilty and sue us to get it back.

    It is wrong and always has been, and anyone supporting it is a threat to liberty. 

    • #23
  24. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Chris B (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    I think that Garland and Wray are wrecking any presumption of good faith and professionalism of federal law enforcement.

    Not only was there no discharge of a legal duty to demonstrate illegal activity to justify a civil forfeiture (there is no criminal forfeiture here) but due process has been denied to the innocent by refusing to provide very basic information.

    Federal judges need to reclaim their authority and start issuing fines, jail time and lost law licenses for this kind of lawlessness.

    The judge, having learned that the FBI has taken possession of items not authorized by the warrant under the guise of executing the warrant, should order the immediate return of all such material to its rightful owners, and should bar any of it from use as evidence. That he has not done so makes the judge equally culpable in this illegal taking.

    The judge, the agents involved, and their superiors who authorized the search should all be held personally liable. No claim of sovereign immunity should be considered, since the taking was in violation of the law.

    One thing I noticed in the earlier stories/videos was that the warrant precluded searching through the boxes etc for CRIMINAL prosecution/forfeiture. But they’ve been trying to do CIVIL forfeiture.

    But even civil forfeiture requires a showing of criminal activity. The notion that my box is government property because another box in the vault was used by a suspected criminal is preposterous.

    No it does not.

    CAF does not require you to be showing any criminal activity.

    Civil forfeiture still has to have some connection to unlawful behavior. If the feds come and take your car, they needed to tell whoever issued the warrant that it was used in or purchased from the proceeds from something unlawful even if not done by you.
    You are right that criminal forfeiture is only of stuff owned by the person charged so a criminal charge/prosecution is required whereas civil does not require a charge or conviction just an alleged connection to something criminal.
    Now, it is out of control. Civil forfeiture has become a big middle finger at the Fourth and Fifth Amendment. We desperately need reform.

    From what I understand, civil forfeiture only has to be presumed to have been part of some illegal process, and that can exist only in the mind of the officer, without any evidence whatsoever. $2,000 in cash in the possession of a tourist? It’s presumed it must be illegal, and it gets taken.

    Yes.

    • #24
  25. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Flicker (View Comment):

     $2,000 in cash in the possession of a tourist? It’s presumed it must be illegal, and it gets taken.

    Pretty much the treatment tourists get in the 3rd world.  

    • #25
  26. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Steve Lehto does occasional videos on Civil Asset Forfeiture too.

    • #26
  27. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Snowden’s secret. 

    • #27
  28. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    David Carroll (View Comment):

    By what twisted logic does the FBI think that it becoming the enemy of the people is a good idea?

    Oh, that’s easy.  They think they’re going to win.

    • #28
  29. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Victor Tango Kilo: When some of the depositors asked for their possessions back, the FBI threatened to charge them with crimes.

    So, are there any Republicans in Congress with the ***** to take on the FBI?  Especially after this?

    • #29
  30. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    That LA Times story is on point.

    • #30
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