(ConservativeHub.com) – FBI agents previously looked through the safe deposit boxes of a California business that was facing accusations of money laundering. During their search, they cataloged stacks of cash, as well as Rolex watches and Cartier bracelets. However, those who owned many of the boxes that contained these items were not facing any criminal accusations, as reported by Fox News.
On Thursday, December 7, a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judges panel heard the arguments of both sides as they tried to decide whether the raid had been in violation of the Fourth Amendment rights of the customers.
Rob Johnson, the senior attorney of the Institute for Justice told Fox News that the public views the FBI’s actions as an abuse of the constitutional rights of Americans. He added that he was very “optimistic” about the decision that would be made by the panel.
On March 22, 2021, the FBI took a total of 1,400 safe deposit boxes from the Beverly Hills-based company U.S. Private Vaults. Legal documents stated that the business had been used by “unsavory characters to store criminal proceeds.” Agents withdrew around $86 million in cash, as well as silver and gold coins, gold bars, jewelry, and other expensive items.
A couple of months later, in May 2022, the FBI initiated the “administrative forfeiture proceedings” which are used in cases where the government seizes money and properties that are believed to be connected to criminal activities. Fox News reported that while the U.S. Private Vaults confessed to money laundering, other charges were never filed. A number of safe deposit box renters who were never charged ended up suing, claiming their protections against unreasonable search and seizure were violated.
Fox News reported that a decision on the case should be made in the coming months.
Copyright 2023, ConservativeHub.com