But it wasn't cheap. After the money was seized by the government for no reason, a long fight began.
Lyndon McLellan of North Carolina has been fighting for more than one year to get back the items seized from him by prosecutors even though he was never convicted of any crime.He is finally being given back more than $100,000 worth taken from his accounts, though the government will not pay any taxes or the fees he had to pay to get the money cleared and back into his name.
A woman who owns a restaurant that only accepts cash or check payments (no debit or credit) had $32,000 seized after she was making deposits in amounts less than $10,000. This is apparently a tactic used by drug dealers, so the money was seized even though she explained herself and was not charged with any crime.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, the federal government has used civil forfeiture to seize some $2.5 billion in cash and property from people never charged with a crime, according to a New York Times investigation.