Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by David Betts, Sep 24, 2023.
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Back to the story, I am sure there is more to it than those law enforcement agencies to just walk in and take everything. What do you think?
Id have to agree but would love to see more? It's not like 1933?
My collection is small, less than 200 coins currently. I keep a very detailed inventory describing what I have. It helps that much of the collection is now certified.
Things like this make me angry because nothing is ever really safe I suppose.
...he's being too kind with his wording. The coins should have NEVER been taken to begin with. Stories like these are why I'd never leave my valuables in the hands of a 3rd party. I'd rather bury em in the backyard if all else fails.
Also in regards to the question Jim posed.. there may be more to the story, but the FBI and other similar agencies know that they operate above the law so all it takes is a couple of corrupt agents and something like this can absolutely conceivably occur. My best guess is that it was a couple of criminal agents eyeing an easy pay day.
And keeping your valuables at home most certainly does NOT protect you from it.
That is certainly true IF YOU ARE THE INTENDED TARGET OF THE INVESTIGATION. Yes, I "shouted" this last because it is pertinent to the discussion.
The forfeitures that unjustly occurred in the cited case happened at a private SDB business/facility, not a bank or other financial institution. There were one or more customers of this facility that were being targeted by the Feds in a money laundering investigation. When the Feds raided the facility they just caught everybody that had a box there in a wide net without regard to whether or not there was any justification for it and then just sat on those people's honestly acquired assets. Why? Well, just because they could. And, they were suspicious of anyone having hard assets (cash, coins, jewels) "hidden away" because, you know, it just had to be suspicious. Why else would anyone "hide" their assets from the Feds? The Wall Street Journal had some excellent reporting on this case at the time.
My point is that if you keep your assets at home, you are extremely unlikely to get caught up in a net cast for someone else.
A few years ago, there was a rash of civil forfeitures along the I-95 corridor. Motorists would be pulled aside and their persons and vehicles searched because they matched a "profile" for drug couriers. If you happened to have cash on you in any amount, it would be confiscated even if there was no valid suspicion of illegal activity. The police departments just said merely having a significant amount of cash on you (anything more than a few hundred dollars) was ipso facto suspicious. Good luck to those innocents trying to get their money back. The police departments had a financial incentive to abuse the citizenry with this legalized theft because the department got to keep and spend a portion of the funds. After a public hue and cry, this practice was halted.
There's precious little protecting "you" from becoming a target of an investigation. And when that happens, "they" can seize your home itself, as well as everything in it. Your ability to fight back will depend a great deal on the resources you still have, your friends in high places, and how appealing the judges you face find you.
Absolutely. There is always a gap in the financial wherewithal of a citizenry: If you don't have much of anything, you can elicit sympathy and support from the charitable elements of society. If you're rich, you have the resources to defend yourself and you probably don't need the assets in question to feed yourself and keep a roof over your head. But if you're in that broad middle and become the target of the state's police power, you have neither of these means to protect yourself.
But since the middle is broad, they outrage it at their peril. I wouldn't be surprised to see major civil-forfeiture reform in my own remaining lifetime. It's just so egregious.
@Publius2, "My point is that if you keep your assets at home, you are extremely unlikely to get caught up in a net cast for someone else." Exactly! This is why several posters here have reported having a home safe to keep their valuable coins.
@-jeffB, what you state here: "There's precious little protecting "you" from becoming a target of an investigation. And when that happens, "they" can seize your home itself, as well as everything in it." I don't think this is 100% accurate. From what I understand, law enforcement can seize property and collect evidence from inside and around your house, but cannot seize your house itself. It is still remains under the house owner's ownership.
can lose your home in civil forfeiture. I'm not a lawyer or even lawyer-adjacent, and I fervently hope that I never have to figure it out for myself.
However, one still can lose their house through eminent domain; the difference is that people are reimbursed by the government if they claim their house through eminent domain process.
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