It's been 3 years since Adam and Jennifer Perry had their money seized by the Illinois State Police, but they are no closer to retrieving the $107,520 stolen from them than they were when the incident happened. Indeed, many Americans are on the same boat as them, with law enforcement agents taking and keeping their financial and material assets without any justifiable legal rationale.
“In a letter filed earlier this month, Adam claims that the taken cash came from savings and disability settlements and payments. ‘Our faith in the United States legal system has been shaken. Why are officer’s [sic] allowed to be judge, jury and executioner on the side of the road?' the Perrys asked in a 2013 response to federal prosecutors.
Unfortunately, their case is not unique. An extensive investigation by The Washington Post into one federal forfeiture program found nearly 62,000 cash seizures since 9/11 where police did not use warrants or charge the owners with a crime. Out of those seizures, more than 1,700 were in Illinois alone.
Moreover, for federal civil forfeiture cases, property owners are not presumed innocent and do not have a right to an attorney. With few safeguards, police and prosecutors can profit from forfeiture. Illinois agencies received more than $186 million in federal forfeiture funds between 2000 and 2013 from the U.S. Department of Justice, according to the Institute for Justice’s report, Policing for Profit.”
Source: Institute For Justice