US Asset Forfeiture Fund slips
by Judy Osburn

FEAR Foundation Journal, Vol. 1 No. 1
Fall 2003
posted on FEAR website 4/10/2004
(c) 2003 FEAR Foundation.  Reprinting for distribution without charge, and republication permitted if article is printed in its entirety without editing, and attribution is given to FEAR Foundation Journal, Forfeiture Endangers American Rights Foundation, 20 Sunnyside Suite A-419, Mill Valley, CA 94941. 

In June, 2002, the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General issued its "Commentary and Summary: Assets Forfeiture Fund and Seized Asset Deposit Fund Annual Financial Statement Fiscal Year 2001." The audit report also included financial statement for the year 2000. The government charts and colorful bar graphs show that, although police piracy is still a lucrative business, the Civil Asset Reform Act of 2000 (CAFRA) may have contributed to a slight reversal of the increasing asset forfeiture profits reaped by the federal government. In most instances CAFRA went into effect in August of 2000.

A six-year history of the Asset Forfeiture Fund shows steadily increasing deposits from $338 million in 1996 to $643 million in 1999. But deposits peaked in 1999, then declined to $507 in 2000, sliding to $439.9 million in 2001.

The government forfeited $406 million in cash in 2000, compared to $357.9 million in 2001, which accounted for about 80 percent of total forfeited assets in both years. Proceeds from sales of forfeited property declined from $101.9 million in 2000 to $67.10 million in 2001. (The remainder of total deposits came from interest earnings on seized assets–$56.3 million in 2000, and $51.9 million in 2001.) While federal agents and their cohorts seized around $15 million worth of monetary instruments during each of the two years, government deposits of the seized monies declined from $28,612 to $8,250.