About 300 people are contesting the seizure of their money and valuables by the FBI after the agency failed to produce evidence of criminal wrongdoing, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The FBI raided safe deposit boxes rented at the U.S. Private Vaults store at a strip mall in Beverly Hills, California, in March, the LA Times reported. The agency is attempting to confiscate $86 million in cash, in addition to other valuables, such as a stockpile of jewelry.
Federal agents claim criminals were storing loot in the deposit boxes, but have not produced evidence of wrongdoing for the vast majority of those who rented them, the LA Times reported. Prosecutors have thus far outlined 11 individuals with past criminal convictions or pending charges, out of the roughly 800 box holders, to justify the forfeitures.
“It was a complete violation of my privacy,” Joseph Ruiz, an unemployed chef and one of 66 box holders who have filed court claims saying the seizure was unconstitutional, told the LA Times. “They tried to discredit my character.”
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