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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    6,371

    Congress Strips Over a Billion Dollars from Asset Forfeiture Fund

    Causing DOJ to defer equitable sharing on new seizures. The below is a text of a letter from DOJ released yesterday. You can find the letter here: http://www.justice.gov/criminal-afml...01376/download

    December 21, 2015
    To State, Local and Tribal Law Enforcement Agencies:

    The purpose of this letter is to explain the financial implications of recent budget legislation on the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program (Program), including equitable sharing. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-74) enacted in November included a $746 million permanent reduction, or "rescission," of Asset Forfeiture Program Funds. In light of that $746 million reduction, we intended to implement measures similar to those during sequestration in FY 2013 when we continued to make equitable sharing payments but at a reduced amount.

    However, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, signed into law on December 18, 2015, includes an additional $458 million rescission in the FY 2016 budget. In order to maintain the financial solvency of the Program, the Department has already begun implementing cost reduction measures to absorb the combined $1.2 billion rescission.

    While we had hoped to minimize any adverse impact on state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners, the Department is deferring for the time being any equitable sharing payments from the Program. Thus, effective immediately, the Department will defer all equitable sharing payments to our state, local, and tribal partners and transfers of any items for official use. Payments that have already been executed by the U.S. Marshals Service will be transmitted to recipients. Funds already disbursed to state, local, and tribal agencies may continue to be expended and reported in accordance with the Guide to Equitable Sharing.

    By deferring equitable sharing payments now, we preserve our ability to resume equitable sharing payments at a later date should the budget picture improve. In other words, if additional receipts in cases without identifiable victims are deposited later in FY 2016, there is a possibility that the Department can resume its sharing on some or all of the deferred payments if there are sufficient funds in the budget.

    The Department does not take this step lightly. We explored every conceivable option that would have enabled us to preserve some form of meaningful equitable sharing while continuing to operate the Program and meet our other fiscal obligations. Unfortunately, the combined effect of the two reductions totaling $1.2 billion made that impossible.


    Letter to State, Local and Tribal Law Enforcement Agencies Page Two


    The Department remains committed to the Program and to the state, local and tribal partners that are integral to its success. We will take all appropriate and necessary measures to minimize the impact of the rescission and reinstate sharing distributions as soon as practical and financially feasible. If you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during these challenging times.
    ret.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    2,025
    Interesting. What's your take on this?
    “The fringes of their deserts were strewn with broken faiths.”
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    6,371
    Bipartisan ignorance, media hysteria, failure of the appropriations process once again. The usual suspects. A lot of angry State and local partners on my phone today with words like fiasco. We'll have to see if the sky has actually fallen or if Chicken Little has replaced Santa this Christmas.
    ret.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Western Hemisphere
    Posts
    541

    Georgia Uniform Civil Forfeiture Procedure Act

    Thanks to GA law, our judicial circuit & Sheriff's Offices have continued business as usual with drug money seizures on I-75.
    Stay safe!

    FedAgent

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    6,371
    IACP and National Sheriffs Association have responded. Most State forfeiture laws, including Georgia's are also under attack.

    The International Association of Chiefs of Police was not pleased with the decision.
    "We want to make clear that neither the IACP, nor any of our law enforcement partners, were consulted regarding this announcement. The position of the IACP is this decision is detrimental to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve," the group e-mailed its members in response to the DOJ suspending the sharing program.
    https://www.rt.com/usa/326932-doj-su...izure-program/

    Here is a joint letter on the issue from major LE leadership organizations: http://www.theiacp.org/Portals/0/doc...Leadership.pdf
    Last edited by ATF SAC; 12-24-2015 at 13:18.
    ret.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Western Hemisphere
    Posts
    541

    Asset/Forfeiture

    A couple of years ago a bill was presented in the Georgia General Assembly to modify the state's asset forfeiture law. The bill proposed expanding oversight to politicians other than the Sheriff or Commission Chairperson and allowing seized dollars to be used for other than training & equipment (i.e. county commission expenditures, public works, etc.). The GA Sheriff's Association & GA Association of Chiefs of Police have managed, thus far, successful lobbying efforts to defeat the bill.
    Stay safe!

    FedAgent


 

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