FBI Caught in Another Major Corruption Scandal After Misleading a Judge

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Another day, another example of the FBI’s vast corruption. A new report based on unsealed documents has revealed that the bureau misled a judge over a warrant in order to seize tens of millions of dollars in valuables without cause.


In total, $86 million in cash with more in gold, silver, and jewelry was taken by the federal government from over 1,400 safety deposit boxes under the guise of them being connected to crimes.

Eighteen months later, newly unsealed court documents show that the FBI and U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles got their warrant for that raid by misleading the judge who approved it.

They omitted from their warrant request a central part of the FBI’s plan: Permanent confiscation of everything inside every box containing at least $5,000 in cash or goods, a senior FBI agent recently testified.

The FBI’s justification for the dragnet forfeiture was its presumption that hundreds of unknown box holders were all storing assets somehow tied to unknown crimes, court records show.

It took five days for scores of agents to fill their evidence bags with the bounty: More than $86 million in cash and a bonanza of gold, silver, rare coins, gem-studded jewelry and enough Rolex and Cartier watches to stock a boutique.


The judge was not told of the plan when he issued the warrant, and as far as I can tell, there’s still no reason to believe the FBI had any justification to do what they did. What “crimes” had been committed? What evidence did they have that the property in the boxes was gained via illegitimate means? Apparently, there was an investigation into U.S. Private Vaults, which rented out the boxes, but the dots were never connected to those who had their stuff in the boxes. Yet, their assets were seized anyway.

The DOJ was also involved in this as the FBI was working directly with the US attorney’s office in Los Angeles. That office tried to block the release of these documents, per the report, but a judge handling the matter denied that request. Once again, the government was attempting to use the levers of “secrecy” to cover up its malfeasance. Unfortunately, that’s become standard fare, with many examples existing of how the FBI and DOJ have attempted to hide behind administrative procedures when they get caught red-handed.

So what’s the FBI’s excuse? They claim that they were under no obligation to tell the judge what their plan was and that they only needed to provide him with the probable cause for the search. I guess we’ll see what the court system has to say about that, but it doesn’t pass muster. If a judge is going to sign a warrant, whether the FBI is just going to steal nearly $100 million in cash from bystanders in the ordeal seems to be an important detail.


Obviously, none of this is surprising. The FBI and the DOJ are power-drunk organizations that believe they are above the law. And why wouldn’t they believe that? No consequences ever stem from their corrupt actions as they operate like an organized crime ring.


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