March 17, 2016

Jeff Hirsch has spent almost 30 years building a successful small business with his brothers, distributing candy, snacks and other goods to convenience stores throughout Long Island. But in 2012, his hard work disappeared in seconds when the government raided the business’s bank account using civil forfeiture—taking $446,000 and nearly destroying the family business. The government never charged Jeff or his brothers with a crime and kept their money for more than two years without ever giving them the chance to fight the forfeiture in court. They struggled to pay the bills, but the business survived because the community was outraged at what the government was doing and came together to support Jeff and his brothers. IJ joined forces with Jeff and his brothers in 2014 and brought national attention to the case with a front-page story in The New York Times and an editorial in The Wall Street Journal. Public outcry was high and in early 2015, the government returned all of the $446,000 it had seized. Jeff never wants anyone to go through what he did and continues to be an outspoken advocate for ending civil forfeiture.