As Scrutiny of Asset Seizures Increases, Some See Pending Decline in Forfeitures

By Valentina Pasquali

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...