IJ Receives Check for Seized Assets in Record Time

With unprecedented speed, Muskogee County’s District Attorney has returned all of the money local law enforcement seized from a group of Karen Christians from Burma and Thailand.

IJ announced its involvement in the case the morning of April 25, 2016, accompanied by a detailed report in the Washington Post on the outrageous case of civil forfeiture. Later that same day, the criminal charge against the group’s manager was dropped and he DA mailed a check to the property owners for the full amount taken by the deputy.

In many legal battles involving the forfeiture of an innocent person’s money or property, it can take months or years for law enforcement to admit their error and return what they seized.

The money will soon be returned to its rightful owners, the Karen musicians who were raising it for charity and a Thai orphanage.

“Getting seized money returned so quickly is just completely unheard of in the forfeiture world,” said IJ Attorney Dan Alban. “Once the world learned that Muskogee County law enforcement had taken this money from orphans and refugees, they dropped the case like a hot potato.”

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