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How Can DEA or TSA Seize My Money?

DEA and TSA are seizing money throughout the United States at a new alarming rate.  At the Greater Cincinnati Airport, they seize money which is or may be suspected to be drug related.  Often times the DEA has no evidence of drug trafficking other than cash.  The Government may and often does hold YOUR MONEY until you appeal and prove your innocence.  Remember, this is not a criminal case so often different rules apply.   The law is quite confusing and the money is often taken as evidence and held by the Department of Justice pending their investigation.  My finding is that often there is NO actual investigation, but only a "wait and see" approach by DOJ to ascertain if the rightful owner of the money will step forward and assert their claim. It often becomes the burden of the client to provide evidence to prove where and how the forfeited money was obtained.  In most forfeiture cases, the owner must prove that the money was obtained by legitimate ways.  The attorney will count on the client to provide bank records and assist in any affidavits which may be required to prove legitimate ownership. If your money has been seized, you are generally given only a receipt for the evidence.  The DOJ, Homeland Security (aka US Customs and Border Protection), DEA or other entity will send a letter apprising you of your rights to administrative remedies.  These administrative remedies must be exhausted before a lawsuit may be filed in the U.S. Federal District Court.  There are forms for Seized Asset Claim Forms, Request for Forfeiture Proceedings. The decision on whether to continue with administrative proceedings or request to proceed in Court is generally best made by an attorney who handles these types of proceedings.  Unfortunately, no legal fees are required to be paid by the government unless your case proceeds to trial in District Court.  As you might imagine, your chances of recovering your assets increase greatly with the assistance of counsel.  If you have questions or wish to retain counsel to assist in recovery of your assets, contact Michael Bouldin at [email protected] or call 859-581-6453.  (581-MIKE) For more information, see previous blog by following link.

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