BEVERLY HILLS, CA- We suppose if you can’t balance the federal budget the right way, just illegally seize people’s assets and that will work. That seems to be the case with the FBI, where we are seeing a situation in which a man’s life savings were seized from a safe deposit box business in Beverly Hills, CA.
Joseph Ruiz, an unemployed chef went to court to retrieve some $57,000 seized by the FBI, whereby the judge ordered the agency to tell Ruiz why they were trying to confiscate the money.
According to court papers, an FBI agent claimed the money was from drug trafficking…or so they apparently assumed.
According to the FBI, Ruiz’s income was insufficient to justify him having that much money, and claimed that his side business, in which he sold bongs made from liquor bottles meant he was apparently an unlicensed dealer of marijuana. The agent also claimed a dog had smelled unspecified drugs on Ruiz’s cash.
The latter claim is interesting because according to a CNN report from 2009, research showed that 90 percent of paper money circulating in the United States had traces of cocaine on it.
The report noted that while some money could be contaminated during drug deals or if an abuser snorted cocaine by rolling a dollar bill, some can get contaminated inside currency counting machines at banks.
As it turned out, the FBI was wrong. Ruiz was able to produce records showing the amount of money he had in the bank was legitimate,