There is another case where the feds threatened a general labourer with 24 years in jail because he helped his boss move some bags of fertilizer. Turned out the government thought the bags might be used as a bomb making material and charged his boss with terrorism charges. He was an 'accomplice' to the crime and given the choice of pleading guilty and serving 2 years in jail or risking 24 years in jail at a trial.
The article is here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000087239639044358930457763...
Stories like this make me so angry. How many other innocent people are thrown behind bars by prosecutors 'win at all costs' style.
Where was the demand for justice when mobsters hired million dollar legal teams to beat murder charges? I think prosecutors are just responding to the demands of some of their constituents.
A somewhat longer-term issue is this: If it becomes common knowledge that the Feds don't fight fair, and that my resources can be used against me and mine via seizure and what not--why do I want to stay in the US and play the game? Even more cynically, why do I want to play a game I can't win according to their rules--wouldn't my money be better spent on dead drops for harassment, assassins, or something against public officials?
I mean, that's the very real risk of this sort of thing, right? That we undermine the values of our society and provide incentives for extralegal defense? And that these measures in turn spur further degradation to "fight the terrorists/crime lords/etc." in one big swooping downwards spiral?
(Edit: The use of first-person is writing style, not intended as "I want to do X to the gubberment" lunacy, etc. etc.)
The question is -- do we have someone more sympathetic than a guy who looted his own companies and a serial killer to serve as an example of this kind of thing being done to genuinely innocent victims? Forbes may regard Conrad Black as a sympathetic victim, but I don't think most reasonable people would. What the writer of this article doesn't like is that the Federal government will do some very nasty things -- in court -- to people it knows are guilty but hard to convict of their actual crimes.
In most other countries if the government hates you that much you'll have much worse to worry about.
Innocent of what? With a complex and convoluted legal structure, we are all criminals. You are guilty of something. And guess what? Even if you're not guilty of 99 of the 100 counts they bring against you, you're guilty of that one. Hello jail time!
> do we have someone more sympathetic than a guy who looted his own companies and a serial killer to serve as an example of this kind of thing being done to genuinely innocent victims
That's the government's take on things. They can describe you that same way tomorrow and you can scream "I'm innocent!" all you want ... everyone will still think you're a piece of garbage who deserves it.
> In most other countries if the government hates you that much you'll have much worse to worry about.
It is truly a sad day when "other countries" becomes the standard. When the United States of America was born, it was the sole country that elected its leaders and had a constitution that was written specifically to restrict government. Even now, that constitution is in the minority, even though it is the oldest constitution in use to date. Our standard shouldn't be "better than the rest" but rather "better than before".
What I want is an America that is better than it ever was, without regard to anything else.
Drug convictions aside, are people actually going to federal prison for made up things?
> That's the government's take on things. They can describe you that same way tomorrow and you can scream "I'm innocent!" all you want ... everyone will still think you're a piece of garbage who deserves it.
This is what happens to people accused of blue-collar crimes, not white collar crimes. White collar crimes carry almost no stigma unless a conviction happens.
> When the United States of America was born, it was the sole country that elected its leaders and had a constitution that was written specifically to restrict government.
What a bunch of historically revisionist bullshit. The Constitution initially restricted the federal government, not the government in general. The states had unlimited power, inherited from the British sovereign, except that which they ceded to the federal government. They could lock you up without trial, take your property, deny you free speech, etc.
These people went to jail because:
1) It's against (American) federal law to import wildlife taken in violation of the laws of another country;
2) The people in question took substantial measures to hide their smuggling activity;
3) The amount of illegal goods in question here was valued at millions of dollars.
The fact that it was no longer illegal in Honduras doesn't matter, though the reason why is rather esoteric. In criminal matters, liability requires two concurrent elements: 1) an act; 2) a certain state of mind. You have to have both at the same time--one by itself won't do.
E.g. if I'm in the woods hunting and I shoot and kill someone thinking they are a deer, I'm not guilty of murder because while I have engaged in every action required to commit the crime I did not have the requisite state of mind.
Here, they imported wildlife, and they did so with the knowledge/belief that the wild life had been taken in violation of Honduran law. They were mistaken about whether the wild life had actually been taken in violation of Honduran law, but as a general rule mistakes do not change the outcome unless the mistake negates the state of mind. In this case, their mistake did not negate their guilty state of mind. The result seems harsh, but it's just the symmetry of the rule. It's no more conceptually unfair than say holding someone guilty of attempted murder.
> The fact that it was no longer illegal in Honduras doesn't matter
Huh? So in your mind, if you're acting suspiciously, even though you've broken no laws ... you should go to jail?
> They were mistaken about whether the wild life had actually been taken in violation of Honduran law, but as a general rule mistakes do not change the outcome unless the mistake negates the state of mind.
Thought crime? Wow.
> It's no more conceptually unfair than say holding someone guilty of attempted murder.
Yeah, see, attempted murder is a crime because you actually tried to kill somebody. Not because you were just in that "state of mind".
The state of mind of a person is relevant in criminal proceedings. It can be the difference between manslaughter and murder.
But it is not and never has been, a crime in itself. And quite frankly, I've never met a rational person who thought it should be.
The "crime" = "action" + "state of mind" conceptualization is the result of the Model Penal Code (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_Penal_Code), which is an extremely well thought-out systematization of the centuries old principles of Anglo-American penal law.
Ango-American law has always placed a very heavy emphasis on state of mind, though the Model Penal Code is more rigorous about applying the principle. However, it stops far short of punishing thought crimes, because it always requires a guilty state of mind to be accompanied by action.
As for why this is rational, think deeply about the attempted murder example. Consider A plots to murder B, and with that plot in mind buys a gun and heads for B's house. The police catch him and charge him with attempted murder because: 1) he intended to kill B; 2) he took a substantial step towards carrying out his goal. Why do we punish A? Nobody has actually gotten hurt, and B might not even know he was in danger. Moreover, say A unknowingly bought a defective gun that wouldn't shoot. Is he still guilty of attempted murder? Yep. Why? Because he had the required guilty state of mind but not only that he took action while having that guilty state of mind. We don't punish the state of mind by itself, we punish the convergence of guilty state of mind and action.
In this case, the people: 1) intended to smuggle illegally-taken lobster tails; and 2) actually imported the tails. The secret code they used and their failures to report are evidence that they knew or believed they were engaging in illegal activity. Should we punish them? Why not? How is this situation any different? The fact that the tails are legal under Honduran law is merely a fact like the inoperable gun in the previous example.
Even granting applicability of mens rea / actus reus analysis here, I believe your analysis is wrong. It's true that attempting to do something actually illegal and failing is often still an offense (usually of the "attempted" variety), but incorrectly believing that what you intend to do is a crime, when it actually isn't, does not automatically make that act criminal. For example, if you think jaywalking is a crime in a jurisdiction where there is no law against it, that will not in itself render your jaywalking criminal. That would be an absurd result.
Kaffee: It was oregano, Dave. It was 10 dollars worth of oregano.
Lieutenant Dave Spradling: Yeah, but your client thought it was marijuana.
Kaffee: My client's a moron that's not against the law.
Lieutenant Dave Spradling: Kaffee, I have people to answer to just like you do. I'm going to charge him.
Kaffee: With what? Possession of a condiment?
Your interpretation of mens rea is just way off. If I'm driving a propeller boat, and I kill a scuba diver that forgot to post the bouy signalling his presence, then I haven't commited a crime, because I was unaware, and could not reasonably be aware, that there was a scuba diver under my boat.
On the other hand, if there is a bouy, and I drive over the top without killing the diver, and it can be demonstrated that I was intending to harm the diver then yes, I can be convicted for attempted murder. Attempted murder mind you, and not murder itself. This requires that attempted murder be a crime. Back to our erstwhile smugglers, if there is a crime of attempted smuggling then yes, they should go down for it, as they were indeed attempting to smuggle. If the only crime on the books is actual smuggling, then they should waltz out of the courtroom.
I disagree, largely based on the severity of the attempted "crime." Sneakily importing lobster tails that turn out to be legal is more akin to deliberately driving 75 in what you think is a 65 zone, but actually turns out to be an 80 zone (yes, they do exist). Doing so is not worthy of a speeding ticket.
Look to retrials of persons who've been found innocent of crimes by state courts but are then re-tried in Federal court on related, but distinct charges. Vagrancy laws, sit-lie laws, and the like are used against the homeless (who may in fact be creating other problems). Al Capone was convicted not of racketeering, murder, conspiracy, or smuggling, but of income tax evasion. Stories of traffic stops resulting in drugs charges for incidental possession of prescription narcotics are rife. The kids-for-cash scandal in Wilkes-Barre resulted in juvenile detention stays for minor school offenses, on account of a corrupt relationship between two judges (Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan) and the manager of the for-profit detention facility. Similar situations exist in Texas.
The Founders had strong reasons to put restrictions on government in general, both state and federal, due to their experience with both local (crown governors) and national (monarch) levels during the Colonial era.
The original article is about both.
> White collar crimes carry almost no stigma unless a conviction happens.
You know this from experience?
> What a bunch of historically revisionist bullshit. The Constitution initially restricted the federal government, not the government in general. The states had unlimited power
Are you aware that each state has its own constitution? That they are modeled on the federal one? That they enumerate the same rights and today, quite a few more?
My home state of New Jersey adopted its constitution in 1776, right before the Declaration of Independence.
* It contains no bill of rights
* It explicitly leaves intact the law of England
* It concerns itself primarily with officeholding (available only to those with considerable fortunes for the time under this Constitution) and voting (available only to those exceeding a monetary threshold)
* It establishes a freedom of religion only for Protestants (thinking this might have been some semantic subtlety of the 1770's that I didn't get, I looked into this further and found that not only does "Protestant" mean exactly what it says here, but that other states explicitly forbade Catholics and atheists from holding office at all in their 1776-1778 Constitutions).
I gather you refer to the modern New Jersey Constitution when you praise the additional rights it grants. I don't think 'rayiner is talking about modern Constitutional law; something about how we resolved slavery in the 1800s suggests that maybe he understands that states no longer have unlimited power.
The link I posted doesn't contain the original constitution.
Here is the link to it:
> It contains no bill of rights
Neither does the federal one. The bill of rights are actually amendments, which are not included in the main body of text.
> It explicitly leaves intact the law of England
You mean common law? What's your point?
> It concerns itself primarily with officeholding
So did the federal one? Did you even bother reading the US federal constitution?
> It establishes a freedom of religion only for Protestants
This is a blatant falsehood. You should be ashamed of yourself. If you can't understand the text, then keep your mouth shut, instead of spreading nonsense.
Here is the only paragraph that makes a reference to Protestants:
That there shall be no establishment of any one
religious sect in this Province, in preference to another; and
that no Protestant inhabitant of this Colony shall be denied the
enjoyment of any civil right, merely on account of his religious
principles; but that all persons, professing a belief in the faith
of any Protestant sect, who shall demean themselves peaceably
under the government, as hereby established, shall be capable of
being elected into any office of profit or trust, or being a
member of either branch of the Legislature, and shall fully and
freely enjoy every privilege and immunity, enjoyed by others their
The rest: if you're suggesting the Bill of Rights isn't an important and defining feature of the Constitutional protections 'rayiner is talking about, I strongly disagree. Obviously, they were amendments, but amendments that were ratified within months of the ratification of the Constitution itself.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the 1776 NJ Constitution sucked compared to the Federal Constitution. The idea that NJ independently provided protections comparable to that of the US Constitution as of 1791 is false.
In many states, you lose your voting rights. You lose your right to own a firearm, hold elected office, and serve in a jury, sometimes permanently. You may lose your ability to practice certain professions.
In some states, the state has the ability to restore your civil rights after a Federal felony conviction via pardon or other procedure. Other states will only recognize a Federal pardon issued by the president. Still others will not restore certain rights in ANY circumstance; New York for example profits a pardoned convicted felon from ever owning a firearm.
And while I agree with your statement about 'most other countries', Americans should hold their government to a higher standard.
Perhaps start with some of Mark Steyn's writing for the Canadian news magazine Macleans?
The dubious and controversial theory used against Black was "honest services fraud". The statute enforcing it does seem to have been perilously vague. But the moral/ethical/pragmatic reasoning behind it isn't; it boils down to maintaining a fiduciary duty to your shareholders or, in Rod Blagojevich's case, to the citizens of the state you govern. Also, Black wasn't merely charged with honest services fraud, but also with charges like obstructing justice and theft, charges that Richard Posner upheld.
(starting on page 11)
The government can presume the guilt of a party they put on trial. But acting as if that presumption is in fact knowledge, and that such an ends justifies whatever means they require to get there, that is a subversion of justice, IMO. I would rather they didnt do that.
Speaking as someone with a logical mind, I used to get worked up about the imperfection of rules until it finally dawned on me that they're all socially constructed, and it's the people you need to worry about.
Do you recall the scene in Catch-22 when Nately flies his plane into the ground after accidentally killing someone, and the doctor who is listed as being on the plane doesn't bail out because he isn't actually on the plane, he's just collecting "flight time" to satisfy some idiotic bureaucratic rule. Despite the fact he's on the ground next to all the other people watching the disaster unfold, they decide he's dead and ignore him afterwards.
My point is: the world is not actually like this.
tldr: I'd choose system integrity/reputation over catching 100% of the bad guys. Loved Catch-22 btw.
Pretty much my thought. The system is based on the fundamental belief that it is more harmful to convict an innocent person than to let a guilty one get away. This is why there is a built-in assumption that people are innocent until proven guilty.
1. How do we decouple material wealth from a justice system? Can we?
2. How do we prevent ratcheting effects as mentioned in the final paragraph?
3. How do we structure laws so that (1) may be, for example automated?
There are very bad people out there, and we certainly don't want them--I wouldn't argue that anyway. But there are a lot of technical criminals who probably don't even know it.
In reality innocent people get charged with crimes that carry the death penalty, and suffer because they lack proper representation.
I wonder if you could elaborate on what your point is a bit? I'm not following how being "... accused of incredibly complex financial crimes..." makes it more unjust to be deprived of adequate legal counsel than being accused of possessing marijuana, or selling marijuana for instance.
Maybe I'm just parsing your comment incorrectly?
For the Conrad Black charges, it wouldn't be, but the only reason the Feds brought a case as complex and questionable against Conrad Black in the first place was because of the large amounts of money involved and Black's personal wealth. Allowing him to use that wealth in his defense restores some balance.
In other words, I agree that balance is required, but disagree that using more wealth to achieve it is the best way forward. Not only does it destroy value in the economy, it begs the questions seen here about the defense of poor people.
The complexity has two results: a) any given person is almost certainly violating a law at any given time, but b) nobody (not even the prosecutor) can tell you which one without spending enormous resources on legal research.
So if the prosecutor isn't given a lot of resources, and the defendant is rich, the prosecutor will likely choose the "wrong" law to charge the defendant with (because they didn't have the resources to find the one the defendant did technically violate), and the rich defendant pays to demonstrate that in court and goes home free.
We could consider the possibility of some kind of means testing, i.e. more resources to prosecutors who prosecute rich defendants, but it falls apart immediately because you can't always tell who is rich. If you're poor but your parents have money, does the prosecutor get extra resources? (Do you then get railroaded if your parents don't like you and won't pay?) How do you tell when someone has a secret research team being financed off book by organized crime?
It seems to me the only thing that can work is to make the law substantially less complicated. And you can't do that at the level of an individual law. If you're going to ban X, you have to cover all the angles of X or you'll have upstanding citizens going to jail and malicious miscreants roaming free.
What we need is to pick which small subset of existing criminal law is worth proscribing and reject all the rest of it. We need to prosecute murder and rape. Do we really need to prosecute computer crimes, rather than just making them a civil matter? We need to prosecute people who dump toxic waste in the river. Do we really need to prosecute recreational drug use, rather than just taxing it to death? We need to prosecute high value tax cheats. Do we really need to prosecute internet casinos?
Stop banning the mostly harmless stuff that everyday people do and we stop having so many prosecutions that the complete inability to pay for them continues to be an enormous injustice.
Google "Joe Bruno prosecution".
Mr. Bruno is a former NY Senate leader who probably acted in a manner most people would describe as corrupt. But after a 6 year, multi-million dollar investigation, the Federal prosecutors didn't charge him with accepting bribes (although they leaked to the press that he did that), they charged him with something like 15 charges of failing to provide "honest services". He was convicted of one count, which was subsequently thrown out of the US Supreme Court.
Now, a few years later, they are charging him again for some other related charge, a charge that may be thrown out on appeal on double jeopardy grounds if he loses. The objective is basically to bankrupt the man, who is in his mid-80s.
Most all white collar crime can be summed up with a few high even charges: fraud, theft, embezzlement, submitting a false instrument. We should be getting rid of dumb laws that rig the process for the prosecution (ie. lying to a federal official as a felony act ala Martha Stewart) and judges should be sanctioning (ie. fining) prosecutors who do things like dump 300,000 pages of shit on the defense team.
But why should making everyone suffer from an unjust legal system better than the alternative. This is like the socialists who believe everyone being poor is better than some people being rich. "The equal sharing of misery" as Churchill put it, is not a good outcome.
I'm pretty skeptical that Black was ill-used by the prosecutors. But even if he were, then as long as he was no more ill-treated than the average drug defendant, then I don't think we should worry about him more than the average drug defendant. And possibly less; Black still has incredible advantages over most of humanity.
That only works if the injustice affects sufficiently many affluent people that they act to change it -- and that they act to do more than just solve it solely for the rich. Which is highly unlikely, because those who can't buy their way out of a prosecution with lawyers can buy their way out of it with campaign contributions or outright bribes (but I repeat myself) or calling in favors from politically connected friends, etc.
And even if that wasn't the case, most rich people will never be prosecuted anyway (which is the same reason that most blue collar voters don't vote in anyone who will fix it for their brethren).
But the main reason is that solving it for working class people is hard, because good criminal defense is extraordinarily expensive and indigent defendants themselves can't afford it, but there are so many such defendants that governments can't afford to pay for it on their behalf either. Meanwhile solving it for the rich is easy, because they each have their own money so they just open their wallets and obtain the best justice money can buy.
This is always the problem with the "we'll make the problem worse and then they'll have to fix it" logic. When the problem is extremely hard, making it worse doesn't cause an easy solution to magically appear, it just makes it worse.
The power to freeze assets helps keeps organized crime from using its vast resources to drown the feds in litigation. The flip side is that it can keep rich individuals from hiring high-priced lawyers to defend against the feds (extremely capable and qualified, if overworked) prosecutors.
Is this a real thing that happens? It sounds like a movie plot.
Oh right, that would no longer be technically legal, the best sort of legal.
I believe there's a significant difference between you not having the resources to mount a proper defense versus the prosecution removing your resources to prevent you from mounting a proper defense.
Why not go the other way? Assign the prosecution a budget in line with the defendant's ability to defend themselves.
I was a juror on a murder trial and the thing that was most striking was the huge disparity between the prosecution's team size and resources and the defense's complete lack of any meaningful resource whatsoever. It was a very sad week of my life.
edit missing word
Further, defendants are going up against the might of the state, US or other wise. Surely all defendants should have a defence equal of the state, other wise, well, you don't have any justice to speak of at all.
I cant understand why this is not making people want to argue for non rich people to have a decent defence in court.
It's because that would break the system. There are over two million inmates in the United States. There is no known or obvious way to provide a reasonable defense for that many defendants in any cost effective manner.
A single good lawyer gets paid six figures. A criminal trial lasts several years through all the appeals. There are millions of accused. Do the math. It's just not happening.
The only way to fix it is to drastically reduce the number of accused so that each can be allocated more resources. So either we need to develop some magic to drastically reduce the number of crimes people commit, or we need to prosecute drastically fewer criminals, or we need to drastically reduce the number of things common people can be prosecuted for. Make your choice.
Edit: I'd love for you to explain your rationale rather than just downvoting me.
Unless of course it involves: drug legalization, religion, or Republicans. Then anger, hatred, and aggressive posts are up voted.
This is just an excuse. You don't want to see your opinions in a negative light. It's a form of censorship.
The tone doesnt have to be flowery and sweet. But the tone should never sound like a personal attack. "Do you seriously not see" implys that the person being replied to is too stupid, or at least incompetent, to see what has been pointed out.
In other words, the question is: should a person be permitted to use funds possibly acquired through illegal activity to defend themselves from a prosecution regarding that same activity?
If I break into your home and steal $10K from your safe, should I be permitted to use that $10K on my defense? Keeping in mind, that if I do so, the $10K will no longer be there... so if I lose, your $10K will be gone.
This will understandably result in many defendants borrowing money which they will never be able to repay because they are then sentenced prison, but that's the cost of doing business. Call it de facto adequate funding of the public defender's office.
In a way, the freezing of the funds in a white-collar crime is very similar.
Given two lemmas:
1. The Feds can nail anyone they want to the wall.
2. The Feds have not prosecuted anyone meaningful for the crash.
What might we conclude?
The government gets around this by ousting their target from their companies prior to laying criminal charges. Once the target no longer has control over their business, the new management can be pressured into dropping / denying the target's D&O coverage.
EDIT: Huh, it seems that although it's rare, yes, sometimes your D&O insurer will try to recoup costs by sending you a bill. Look at this:
Interesting, the article says many (presumably non-criminal) securities cases settle because companies are afraid an adverse judgement would void their D&O insurance. I wonder if anyone ever pleads nolo contendere in a plea bargain just to maintain D&O coverage.
edit: Maybe it's time for lawyers to start accepting bitcoins for compensation?
Naturally the lawyers would have to figure out whether (or how best) you could do something like that in such a way that the money couldn't be seized.
To address your comment in detail:
1)>>>In short, people would take out the insurance right before they commit a crime so they didn't have to pay for their own defense.
2)>>>I don't see how the insurance company could survive in that environment, since the principle of insurance is that most people won't need it.
Require the insurance to be delayed: you must pay into the insurance for X number of years before it can be used. In this case, "right before they commit a crime" will end up being long enough to recoup the costs of the defense. An actuary can help find what number of years is needed for the specific business.
Point 2: All insurance companies are faced with the challenge of survival. They often overcome this challenge by increasing their pool of customers: "most people won't need it" and are profit centers, the few who do need it are the cost centers. Again, actuaries are the folks to call.
As if any grand jury could sift through a 360,000 page indictment anyway.
Conrad Black also describes the use and abuse of the grand jury in depth as part of A Matter of Principle.
If assets are frozen, require the prosecution to estimate what they will
spend prosecuting the case and to unfreeze assets of the defendants'
choice at least equal to the prosecution's estimate, to be allocated to
provide for the defendants' defense.
Let the court require weekly up-to-date accounting from the prosecution,
with a proviso that if the prosecution submits inaccurate reports or goes
over their estimated budget the case is decided in the defendant's favor.
Note also that a large percentage of convictions involve a defendant
pleading to a lesser offense.
If the interests of justice make it worth spending $100K of taxpayer money to prosecute someone charged with a relatively simple crime, then it’s also worth giving that person access to $100K worth of defense lawyering. If the government wants to spend $5M to prosecute an alleged mobster, that alleged mobster should have access to $5M worth of defense.
If the mobster has allegedly ill-gotten gains and the government wants to freeze them, then $5M of those gains would be placed in escrow; if the defendant is acquitted or later proves that the money was earned legitimately, then it would be deposited back into the public defenders’ fund.
I read this wrong the first time, but the thing I thought it said is an I idea I'm now very happy with: We should make all asset seizures from guilty defendants (which don't have identifiable victims) go to the public defenders' office.
That would in one fell swoop provide a significant amount of funding for the chronically underfunded public defenders' office, and deprive law enforcement of the perverse incentive to engage in de facto theft by asset seizure solely for the purposes of padding their own budgets (because at present that is often where it goes).
I'm not saying it would never happen, but it would certainly be a lot more rare than "hey look, this shady fellow has got a lot of money, let's prosecute him instead of criminals who are causing more damage to society because it's more profitable to the law enforcement agency who gets the money."
Edit: It would also be possible to just remove the moral hazard. In the rare case where the public defender is counsel for a defendant whose assets have been seized, then in that case if the defendant loses the assets don't go to the public defender, they go somewhere else. Like, say, lead abatement: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5006368
Edit 2: Really, you're probably right. I think I'm just defending it because I had a thought late at night before thinking it through and immediately posted it, and now I feel like I should be defending my idea even if it isn't any good. Almost all of these "x found money is allocated to y thing" plans are the wrong way to go -- the amount of money something needs to operate is unrelated to the amount of ticket revenue or asset seizures or whatever.
But it shouldn't be allocated to law enforcement either, for the same reasons. That is what really needs to be changed.
Maybe it all should go to lead abatement -- putting it in the general fund just hands the perverse incentives to Congress. Allocating it strictly to lead abatement puts it in the hands of people with no obvious relation to asset seizures and so no obvious ability to unjustly increase the number of seizures or fraudulent guilty verdicts for pecuniary gain, and solves a serious problem that also happens to be an extremely cost-effective use of the money.
Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty?"
This guy is a CEO who raided his own company's coffers, to the vast enrichment of himself and the impoverishment of his shareholders.