Pending U.S. legislation intended to curtail the misuse of federal asset forfeiture powers could dissuade law enforcement officials from pursuing some civil seizures linked to suspected criminal activity, experts say. Congressional consideration of two bills that would impose new standards on the U.S. Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service comes as the Treasury Department is separately weighing the review of potentially hundreds of appeals by individuals whose funds were seized for apparent violations of national structuring laws. The introduction of the measures and the disclosure of the potential IRS review follow media reports alleging that federal and state officials have...
An IRS initiative granting state and municipal investigators access to a federal database of bank regulatory filings has helped law enforcement agencies reap hundreds of millions of dollars in forfeitures.
Inconsistent international forfeiture laws continue to hamper global asset forfeitures, according to Stefan D. Cassella, chief of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering section of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland.
Governments should bolster their asset forfeiture laws and look closely at the cross-border movement of bearer negotiable instruments, an intergovernmental group that advises on anti-money laundering efforts said last week.