Guest Post: US Government Asset Seizures On The Rise

Tyler Durden's picture

From Simon Black of Sovereign Man

US Government Asset Seizures On The Rise

The Wall Street Journal published a disturbing article earlier this week entitled “Federal Asset Seizures Rise, Netting Innocent With Guilty.

You can already imagine the crux of the article.

In the United States, there are hundreds of regulations which authorize dozens federal agencies to confiscate private property– homes, cars, bank accounts, gold, company shares, and even personal effects.

Ironically, most Americans still think that they live in a country where you’re innocent until proven guilty. Nothing could be further from the truth, and it’s just another clear example of how the US Constitution has become a worthless piece of toilet paper for the federal government.

The Fifth Amendment states that “No person shall be… deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Tell that James Lieto, a New York businessman who was relieved of $392,000 when the armored car company used by his check-cashing firm was taken down by the FBI.

Lieto was innocent and not implicated in any wrongdoing, but the FBI took his money regardless as it just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Last October, another businessman named Raul Stio was suspected of wrongdoing by the Treasury Department. The government seized over $150,000 from his account, yet in the 10-months that followed, Stio has still not been charged with a crime.

According to Justice Department statistics, the total value of confiscated property exceeded $2.5 billion in 2010, more than double from five years ago. The average take per case? $166,000… and the vast majority of cases were non-criminal.

It’s truly staggering to think about how much can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye, all without any judicial oversight or right to a hearing.

The reason could be anything. Maybe you violated some arcane, meaningless regulation among the hundreds of thousands of pages of US Code (ignorance of the law is NOT an excuse!). Maybe you were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe they had no real reason at all other than mere suspicion.

One minute you have money, the next you’re completely locked out of your wealth and livelihood. They force YOU to prove to them that you aren’t guilty, but they take away any means you had to defend yourself.

Look, this is the new reality in America. The entire country has become a nation of criminals– there isn’t a single man, woman, or child alive who is not in violation of some obscure regulation or cannot be ‘suspected’ of wrongdoing.

This is really just a form of cannibalism– a government feeding on its own citizens in order to keep the party going just a little bit longer. They’ll raise taxes, seize assets, take over pension funds, erode freedoms, start wars and send people to die– whatever it takes to maintain the status quo.

I’ve long advocated for an internationalization strategy: diversifying various assets and interests overseas so that no one single government has total control over your livelihood.

Store your gold in Switzerland. Open a bank account in Hong Kong. Register your company in the BVI. Establish a ‘backup’ residency in Chile. Expand your business in Brazil. Get a better job in Singapore. Obtain a second passport in Malta. Open a brokerage account in the Cayman Islands.

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trav7777's picture

Robbery, bitchez

russki standart's picture

Feudalism at its best, everyone is property of the homeland and everyone must pay up to the liege lord.  

john39's picture

global fascist rule.  profits for corporations/banks... losses borne by the public.   all under the control of the banker elites.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

Before Russo died, he made a film called America: Freedom to Fascism - Director's Authorized Version located here ( on Google.

Russo did a few other interviews.  In one of them he said that there is no law that says you have to pay taxes.  He also says that the IRS are a government armed gang who will throw you in jail, and take away whatever they feel like taking.  So you now have a choice, fight them and go broke, or let them slowly rob you and maybe you won't go broke.

FalseConsciousness's picture

Apt analogy.  Capitalism has always been of feudal design - with chance to become a lord.  Once those chances end, so does capitalism.   

Rodent Freikorps's picture

Feudalism is corrupted by the thing that corrupts, and eventually destroys any system: Cronyism. Not to mention that feudalism is a form of government, not necessariliy an economic model.

Capitalism is what broke feudalism. That is why the feudal lords of the welfare state don't like it much.

Azannoth's picture

Yes, capitalism spoiled the party for all the monarchs and aristocrats, and they have been busy for past 100 years at destroying it, seems they are nearly there

WarriorClass's picture

Shoot first, hide the bodies later.

Rodent Freikorps's picture

If you don't shoot 'em first, you have to listen to all that whining and sniveling while you bury them.


Hyper Entropy's picture

Wow, we all know now you read at least half of chapter one of Das Kapital.

Leopold B. Scotch's picture

well, its a lot more democracy oriented than traditional feudalism.   More like the former soviet union, where those in positions of authority are pretty much like the mob.  They demand their retribution, and send you on your way.   Or in Greece, where everyone is looking for an angle to skim a little extra off this or that.  You know everyone's out to screw you, so you gotta screw them too, or you'll end up in a "been screwed more than done the screwing" deficit.  End of game.

The U.S. is no better.  We just disguise it better and lie to ourselves a lot more so we can look at ourselves in the mirror much easier and convince ourselves we're not really stealing from our neighbor because "the regulations made me do it"... And everyone voted for those, so what's a crime if I do it myself or with a few of my buddies is suddenly laundered and legal thanks to democracy.

Yea... In the U.S. nearly everyone has they're hand in the till.  Tax lawyers, CPAs, financial planners who all make a living off of the completely inane and arbitrary complexity of the tax code and financial rules and regulations.  Hell, the whole concept of a CFP is a joke.  NPV of a future obligation ain't that hard to calculate... but it sure is when the law creates an arbitrary minefield of stupidity that you get to charge all of your clients to navigate day in and day out.

So many careers in the U.S. would simply go hungry if not for the government forcing them into existence either directly or indirectly.  Government workers, contractors for govt, bankers who get to play with printed money / fractional reserve leverage to earn a living... INsurance agents who do estate planning... College planners... etc. etc. etc.

And people wonder why this country is collapsing under its own weight.  What a waste of resources.  Non productive, totally parasitic.  Yes, you with the college degree or MBA or JD who looks down on the welfare recipient: So many of you are really just welfare with a degree.

Azannoth's picture

You think that innovatio only applies to technology ? LOL the so called 'political/social sciences' are not sleeping they have been transmutating Marxism/Leninism/Stalinism all the way

they learned their lessons, don't expect them to come out and say 'look people we're gonna have lenninist communism now', no they are gonna make you have it without you even being able to perceive it properly, it will be kinda like Neo in Matrix

Morpheus: 'you know there is something wrong with the world'

                'something is amis'

                'but you can't quite pinpoint what is it?'

Neo:         'Yes'


Leopold B. Scotch's picture

I think you're describing Fabian Socialism. They frowned on the clumsy soviet communist revolution.   They believe in the Noble Lie.

Keynes was a Fabian socialist...   The first 1/3 of the Creature from Jekyll Island does a quick job of describing the much more sophisticated bunch of Fabians who co-opted the central banking model as a form of subtle redistributionism.  The rest of the book l'm not such a big fan of, and Griffin himself has admitted mistakes on some of his wilder assertions made in the second half of the book.  But the stuff on the Fabians, the origins of the Fed and its relationship to Euro Banking interests is reliable enough. 

Azannoth's picture

I think redistribution of wealth to themselves from everybody else was what they where after 100 years ago I think they are now deep into social and possibly genetical(through chemistry/environment) engineering and are trying to assume control not just over your money (they got that a long time ago) but are going directly after your 'soul' they want to control you and your children inside out, they want to make the

human race into mindless drones that will churn out 'products and services' for them, think China or North Korean on a Global scale

spiral_eyes's picture

krugman has all the answers to this problem! guns, bombs and global conflagration, bitchez


Leopold B. Scotch's picture

True enough.  The Fabians figured they could seize control of the apparatus, or at least make a deal to enable a handful of the elites to keep their wealth, while they would, in turn, grease the wheels of Fabian Socialism.

The education system of the U.S. specifically was designed by those looking for order-taking drones who would learn to cope with indifference, learn to obey bells and signals, and be groomed to accept / bide their time despite being miserable at what they do.  I mean, cha-chaing!  Total success.

arizona11912's picture

Leopold B Scotch, I agree with everything you say. Its the absolute truth! I sit here with my recent MA in Econometrics (using statistics to falsfiy reality) now trying to devise a plan to "create" a job NOT "get" a job. I'm really good at macroeconomic and financial (monetary policy) forcasting so I'm going to do consulting and help people and small business steer clear of the bs. Anyone here talented at making websites like Thanks

Leopold B. Scotch's picture

I feel for you, Zona.  On a scale of massive proportions the PhDers (and others) have managed to confuse creating stuff (=real wealth) with creating activity. 

GDP measures activity.  Pay everyone $billions to piss in the wind and GDP will give you an A+++ for effort.

We just learned we all can't sell mortgages to each other.  We are now learning the hard way that finance for the sake of finance is a real hootnanny.

Hugh G Rection's picture

I've been leaning toward Argentina, but the consensus on here seems to be Chile... What are the advantages of Chile over Arg.?

Azannoth's picture

In Argentina they engineer their own collapses

In Chile an 8pt. earthquake leaves no scars after a month

Hugh G Rection's picture

ya the earthquakes scare me.  Another currency crisis in Argentina doesn't scare me as much, would just keep everything in Ag/Au.


Looking at a small vineyard for under 6 figures.

Azannoth's picture

You people think that Au/Ag is a means to all ends, and who exactly will you trade with when all things go to hell ?

At least in Chile you have a better chance of civilization surviving, when in Argentina people will be eating each other alive

That is why I am staying (for now) in Germany cuz of all the countries in Europe Germany is the most likely to survive a global economic/social collapse

I could get 4x more for my money in Eastern Europe but I would be afraid of 'getting eaten alive there' when society breaks down


Let's say something like the recent riots in London, happens in your neighborhood, are you gonna trade with those marauding youths your silver ?

I think not, so the 1st thing is to pick a place where riots like that are unlikely, 2nd thing is to be prepared when they happen anyway

Au/Ag will not help you survive when SHTF trully, you better have weapons, food, shelter and skills to back yourself up

Hugh G Rection's picture

Don't worry about my firearms "skills" I was plinking squirrels with a .22 since I was able to walk.  I shoot competitively in GSSF, IPSC and IDPA.  That happens to be 1 of the reasons I prefer Argentina, more liberal gun laws.  Marauding youths aren't a concern of mine.  The problem in London was the shopkeepers had no way to defend themselves.  You think those clowns would hang around smashing windows if they saw one of their buddies take a load of buckshot to the gut?


I would feel comfortable on a vineyard at the base of the Andes, sitting on my porch with a glass of cabernet and a .308.

A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000's picture

Bad news my friend. Once the Germans realize they just lost WW II for the second time the shit will hit the fan there too.


But at least it well be well designed and well engineered shit

sun tzu's picture

What makes you think everything has to go to hell for gold and silver to have value? Zimbabwe, Argentina, and Weimar Germany are all examples of where precious metals stored wealth while fiat went to hell. Out of chaos comes order. If the STHF, things will be bad for weeks, months or years. After that, you'll wish that you have gold and silver instead of fiat currency and government promises.

AnAnonymous's picture

Bad propaganda never dies in this US world order.

"No person shall... be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law..." leading to conclude that the US constitution is nothing but a piece of paper.

What an intellect to conclude that after 200 years running. Or a selective definition of what a person is, in a US citizen manner.

Potentially the last one of course.

sgt_doom's picture

Well, David Rockefeller vacations every year in Chile, possibly because that's where he set up Josef Mengele and his clinic.

Wonder what that clinic was/is for?  But Davy Rockefeller looks mighty young, even in a wheelchair?

"The entire country has become a nation of criminals– there isn’t a single man, woman, or child alive who is not in violation of some obscure regulation or cannot be ‘suspected’ of wrongdoing."

Can't but agree with the blog quote above --- the end result of predatory jurisprudence (see Thomas Linzey's work, one of America's greatest public service attorneys).

Truly, America has become nothing more than a fraud-based society, with the workers at their mercy.

ian807's picture

Twas ever thus. Local police forces are the Mafia when it grows up.

Pay the local mafioso of have your shop burned down. Pay the local cops or have your shop confiscated while you are put in jail. With confiscation laws, you don't even have to bother with that pesky court system.

Either way, you get no choice, particularly if you have a family. The local mafioso probably leads a less ostentatious life than the local police chief or his minions. Certainly the police whack more people.

The lord of the manor, the local police chief, the POTUS. Is there a difference any more?

And who are the greater criminals?

slaughterer's picture

Silver is getting flushed hard right now. 

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

All the better to buy even more my little pretty.

Store your gold in Switzerland. Open a bank account in Hong Kong.

My man in Hong Kong, Banzai7, has agreed to hold all my Gold and Silver for when I need it. Right Banzai7? Right?

Ummm......Bill? Are you there Bill?

Anyone seen Bill lately? :)

fishface's picture

just saw him over at Lamma on a brand new yacht

good looking chicks an board, was wondering if he won at the races

Sudden Debt's picture

Don't ask me.... I'm just the guy who takes care of your wife.

PS: She says hello and might stay for another few weeks. Maybe she'll send you a textmessage this weekend, but don't count on it.



Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Keep her. And good luck with that.

MsCreant's picture

I will be a buyer, today or tomorrow. Been waiting for this.

Boston's picture

I'm waiting til Friday's speech.

If expectations for more QE are not met, then the dollar rallies, and gold/silver could pull back much more.

If so, I'll be backing up the truck on Friday afternoon.

faustian bargain's picture

I bought today...apparently i'm missing the bottom by a little bit, but oh well. I don't have the stomach for timing these things.

DaveyJones's picture

don't matter, its a long ride.

Azannoth's picture

Isn't it funny this happens right after the 'rebels' won in Libia (they got some physical to short with!)

IMA5U's picture

this is a scary stretch to be short.  the media and events seem manufactured towards a common goal: promote market stability, get cash out of safe havens and into risk, and hurt the shorts


even if that means the west funding rebels in lybia

nodhannum's picture

This rebel wants to win in "labia".

pops's picture

Good deal!  I can buy more.

When silver is riding high, ZSL is in the I buy ZSL.  When silver takes a whipping, ZSL zooms, I sell and buy more physical silver with the gains.

Shhhhh!  Don't tell everyone my secret.

Au Shucks's picture

There is but two ways to fight back.  One involves violence and gives the fascist nazi's an excuse to unleash violence in return.  The other involves starving the system and can enlist the services of Joe Sixpack just as easily as Patriot Paul.  Some argue that defaulting on bank debt and removing cash from banks while converting fiat into real assets is immoral or unethical and causes others to pay that bill.  What these people fail to realize or acknowledge is that the "system" itself is in self-destruct mode with absolutely no chance of recovery or longevity.  Bottom line, anybody can fight back with a little courage coupled with conviction that they are doing something for the good of our nation and humanity.

Default TODAY on any and all unsecured, uncollaterized bank debt.  Credit cards, default.  Consumer loans, default. 

Pull everything short of 1 month's cash out of the banks.  Save what you feel you need to, convert the rest into something real... food, protection, precious metals, means of production.

This is a great start... for those who have bigger balls..

Stop paying your mortgage.  Get an attorney if you want and live without mortgage payments, property insurance payments or property tax payments for 24 mos or longer.  Fight the bank to prove they are the owner of the note.  Many will win this, some will not, but the objective is not self enrichment, it is self preservation.

Organize locally with like-minded patriots.. start a community garden and trade network.. etc. etc.

We have no other options left, frankly.  Starve the beast, or be fed to it.. it is literally that simple.

Leopold B. Scotch's picture

I don't have a problem with a lot of what you say.  

But I don't agree with not paying your debts.  Maybe if you're horribly under water because you got suckered in before you realized what you were doing...  but before you stop paying your mortgage, you should step up and protest like a real man and start voting for libertarians, since they seem to be the only ones you can rely on to actually do what they say / will actually cut the head off the real problem.

Most mortgage dodgers voted for Obama because Bush screwed them with the bubble.  Simple minds beget simple results.

oldman's picture

I disagree.

Voting has gotten not a thing accomplished in-----well, maybe never---I don't know but I do know that it has never worked during my lifetime. L.B. Scotch, I know not who you are but I am tired of explaining to people why voting doesn't work; no onre who would be a pol gives a FUK about the voters. This is a corrupt and mean system held together by well-meaning people like yourself-----telling me that I have a voice and can bring about change----------

I can't even finish this----not yours, but I want to vomit.     om

iDealMeat's picture

+1,  Its even easier then that.  Just cut your consumption in half..  In every thing you do..

First it will reset China, then it will reset the US..

DaveyJones's picture

Been arguing something similar for a year and a half. Split up into four groups. Everyone take a week and tries not to buy anything if possible. Add to it the bartering, local food production etc. Starve the beast!.

dogismyth's picture

I would have to agree with you Shucks.  All that is remaining is the upper middle class and beyond to throw in the towel in disgust over this system.  Many still feel they are safe and unaffected by the policies of the elitists run governments.  But, they are next on the list.

Some people think there is something to salvage...that perhaps a politician or two will be instrumental in saving the system...that perhaps by happenstance things will get better.  The criminality of the system is blatant and obnoxious.  The puppets are arrogant and strongly sense they are untouchable.  And the elite are already preparing for a reset but doing their best to pimp the politicians for all they're worth.

Close accounts.  All of them except for a local bank or CU so that you may unwillingly participate in the monopolistic monetary system as needed.

Refrain from shopping at the big name companies.  Shop local or regional as long as the owners are based regionally.

Stop participating in the political system.  Voting is useless.  It doesn't matter who you elect, change will never occur under the current system of bribes, threats and cronyism.

Civil disobediance is a must, and it should be directed at mega-corporations, especially the primary dealers.

As far as debt, avoid it if you can.  If you are in debt, there are choices.  But if your goal is to stop feeding the monster, then be prepared with knowledge on how to manuever your way through the legal system.  Its a barbaric system based on commercial trafficking and that includes you and your loved ones.  You are a number just like livestock EXCEPT you can think and reason how best to survive and defeat the monsters that rule us.

When I read this board and others, people continue to act as if it is a joking matter.  Many think they are secure in their PM.  Many could care less  for those around them.  Many feel immune because of some (mis) belief they have adopted.  Indoctrination takes on many forms.  And many have been indoctrinated to the myth that gold and silver will be their life saving asset.  What may have been acquired through much work and effort can vaporize in mere seconds.  Nothing is for sure and timing with regards to predictions is a fools game.

Its true what they say.  you are what you eat.  You are what you think.  And you are only as good as your heart.



RockyRacoon's picture

Everyone has a different approach to surviving.   That's a good thing.  It assures a wide range of efforts that will end in success.   The folks who prepare in any way will be able to mix and mingle with those who survive in other ways to create a diverse population of those who will rebuild.   Nothing wrong with taking different tacks as long as it's not the current one.

oldman's picture

AW Shucks,

Great advice----an example of doing-nothing to give our lords reason to worry. They just think that you are another victim---more collateral damage in current terms.


Yeah, I like it a lot, thanks                 om