FBI Raids Anonymous Safety Deposit Boxes, Requires Identity to Reclaim Stuff

Here is an interesting case that doesn’t quite pass the smell test. I would think that with all the FBI has to do now with investigating Trump and the rest of the Trumpsters in America, a little bit of “avoiding currency reporting requirements” would not be high on the list. But what the heck. The FBI grows stronger every day and isn’t that the point of this? Just how far can and will they go?

In a case that’s already sparked one lawsuit, a Beverly Hills strip mall business which rents private, anonymous safe deposit boxes was raided by the FBI last month – at which time the agency conducted a blanket seizure of hundreds of customers’ belongings.

To retrieve their valuables, customers will need to “identify themselves and subject themselves to an investigation to verify their legal ownership,” according to the Los Angeles Times, which noted that one customer has already gone to court claiming that the government overreached by confiscating the contents of every security box.

The FBI and Drug Enforcement Agency took five days to go through and process all the boxes after the raid began on March 22, according to court documents. US prosecutors argued on Friday that while the original warrant remains under seal, the magistrate judge who approved it thought that the sweeping seizures were appropriate.

“The government seized the nests of safety deposit boxes because there was overwhelming evidence that USPV was a criminal business that conspired with its criminal clients to distribute drugs, launder money, and structure transactions to avoid currency reporting requirements, among other offenses,” prosecutors claimed in papers filed in Los Angeles federal court.

The indictment was unsealed on Friday – just one hour before a court-issued deadline to respond to a lawsuit brought by a US Private Vaults customers who alleged that the blanket seizure was unconstitutional.

The unnamed customer, listed in court papers as John Doe, said the search warrant should not have authorized seizure of the jewelry, currency and bullion that he kept in his three boxes at U.S. Private Vaults, because there was no probable cause to suspect the person committed a crime.

“Just as the tenant of each apartment controls that space and therefore has a reasonable expectation of privacy in it, each of the hundreds of renters of safety deposit boxes … has a separate reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her separately controlled box or boxes,” the person’s attorney, Benjamin N. Gluck, wrote in the complaint. –Los Angeles Times

The customer seeks to stop the FBI from requiring anonymous customers to reveal themselves and undergo an investigation to verify legal ownership of their valuables – with attorney Benjamin Gluck arguing that the government is holding his  client’s goods “hostage” until he identifies himself. Gluck pointed to a statement by assistant US Attorney Andrew Brown describing the procedure for retrieving valuables.

“Though Mr. Brown perhaps deserves credit for his candor, his announced plan is grossly improper and manifestly unconstitutional,” wrote Gluck, noting that Brown had previously conceded in court papers that some US Private Vaults customers were “honest citizens to whom the government wishes to return their property.”

“But the majority of the box holders are criminals who used USPV’s anonymity to hide their ill-gotten wealth,” he wrote. “To distinguish between honest and criminal customers, the government must examine the specific facts of each box and each claim, precisely what the anonymous plaintiff wants to prevent by refusing to disclose not only his identity, but even the specific boxes he claims are his.”

Read more at Zero Hedge

31 Responses to “FBI Raids Anonymous Safety Deposit Boxes, Requires Identity to Reclaim Stuff”

  1. Duane Westberg Says:

    Nice blog post.🤠 😀 2021-06-21 03h 26min


  2. peter3nj Says:

    What’s next, turning over mattresses, opening shoe boxes and checking our refrigerator freezers?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Sparky Says:

    I grew up in an era that taught respect for authority, the military and the police. Do you know, (forgive my language) but I wouldn’t piss on the FBI if their hair was on fire. That’s sad ’cause I don’t like feeling that way. And back to protecting one’s belongings, this is yet another reason we have a fire proof safe that’s almost as big as the room. It’s well worth the initial cost.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Mustang Says:

      Sparky, I hate to say it, but what many of us were taught about the local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies simply wasn’t true. As NRRINGLEE pointed out, the FBI under Hoover was no more than an organization of thugs with licenses to destroy anyone who became their target … not to mention what a flake J. Edgar Hoover was from the beginning and Elliott Ness wasn’t far behind.

      Even in the less trivial matters, no matter what Jean Seberg was into, she didn’t deserve that kind of harassment as but one of a thousand examples. If suspected of illegal activities, charge her and let her have her day in court.

      As to state and federal prosecutors, I would think that getting a conviction should cause some reflection on the sad state of affairs in our country — as opposed to running around the office “high-fiving” one another because they put another sap on death row.

      The mentality among law enforcement officers (local, county, state, and federal) has always been “them” against “us.” Not sure when that attitude developed, but it certainly doesn’t deserve our respect. At least, that’s how I see it.

      Liked by 4 people

    • bunkerville Says:

      I was in the same camp….and then an experience that changed it all… Same with the court system that dragged out a case for years so the lawyers could keep fleecing us with endless delays……

      Liked by 3 people

  4. peter3nj Says:

    Well golly gee, why is the government siccing its secret police after private citizens chump change? The treasury printing presses are whirring away 24/7/365 (366 on leap years) creating all the Monopoly Money any democrat politician could dream about.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Mustang Says:

      You wanna mess with lefties? Devaluate gold. When all those Krugerrands hidden away in anonymous deposit boxes are worthless, there won’t be any charges above a misdemeanor. Problem solved. Plus, we could start reducing the size of the federal law enforcement agencies or replace all feds with junkyard dogs who (a) never draw pensions and (b) never sell secrets to the Russians.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Mustang Says:

    I have never heard of anonymous safety deposit boxes — but you can fill up several warehouses with things I’ve never heard about or know. This story, as alarming as it is, doesn’t surprise me. Not since we started having secret courts who answer to know one and issuing secret warrants based on innuendo. But um … why would anyone want an anonymous safety deposit box? I mean, besides Jason Bourne.

    I know that law enforcement is a tough job. It becomes even more challenging when everything is against the law, which makes everyone an outlaw. So here we are in the land of the free where undercover FBI cannot surveil mosques because people have a right to encourage others to cut off the heads of infidels or fly planes into tall buildings or collect money that is used to support terrorist acts — but people can be arrested, and their property seized for offering private/anonymous safety deposit boxes. The sense of this escapes me. As an aside, I also wonder how many car buyers are aware that before they can purchase a new or used car, they must first undergo vetting by the DHS.

    So, suspect “A” is believed to have broken into the home of victim “1” and stolen gold bullion and the Hope Diamond. There is no proof that “A” did it, only a suspicion. Insufficient to get a warrant in normal America because suspicion isn’t enough under the Constitution. There has to be a “reasonable” suspicion. Police can’t even enter “A”’s home, garage, shed, rental storage unit, or car to search for stolen goods without a reasonable suspicion that (a) a specific crime has been committed, (b) that “A” committed that crime and (c) the stolen or ill-gotten goods are likely to be hidden in “A”’s home (etc.). Reasonable suspicion means that someone has to make a sworn statement attesting to the circumstances that make such suspicions reasonable. And, this is important; the judge actually has to be able to read.

    Oh, and there has to be a precise list of items that the police are looking for. Anything else they find cannot be touched, although they may be able to seize two kilograms of nuclear fissionable material because it presents a danger to society, but “A” couldn’t be charged with that because police weren’t looking for that stuff.

    But in bizarre America, suspect “A” has been seen entering USPV with packages and leaving with nothing, so … the government can raid USPV, take everything, and demand that everyone who has a deposit box prove that they obtained those materials legally. Give me a break.

    Here’s an idea: arrest the judge for being a dumb ass.

    Liked by 3 people

    • bunkerville Says:

      Great analysis…. why the U.S. Postal service is involved escapes me as well. Why drug dealers cars get usurped and sold filling the coffers of the sheriffs departments escapes me as well. Get the proper judge and another precedent will be set…. onward to Roberts who by now a guess as to how the wind blows on a given day.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. markone1blog Says:

    You know all this will do will be to drive these sorts of boxes offshore. Rather than renting a box in Los Angeles, the real crooks will rent one in Bermuda, Switzerland, or Crete.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Samantha Says:

    Come On Man! Wake up America, enough is enough. It’s time for us to stand up to the delusional people, the Socialist crowd, and the sick Progressives who want to destroy this country, and turn it into the Shit-Hole that we are already seeing in San Francisco, Portland, Chicago and other American Cities that have gone down the Leftist Tubes.
    It hight time that you ALL realize that Joe Biden lied to you when he said he was a moderate. Firstly he is a member of the “Walking Dead” and secondly he is not a moderate by any means. You would have been better with that filthy communist Bernie Sanders. At least he is not someone other than who he really is.

    It is a sad day in America when a major political party knowingly nominates and promotes a mentally impaired individual to the United States Presidency. Even sadder still when some behind-the-scene advisor shoves a note in front of a cogitatively disabled senior citizen, and he mouths words he may not know to be untrue. But the greatest sadness of all comes from the mainstream media that knowingly, and constantly repeats those lies to the American people like they did when hey held back the entire news about Hunter Biden’s Laptop . And ALL the other news, and events about that Crack-Head, and his Father Mr. “Big Guy”.

    And how about the Main Stream Leftist Media? They would be comical, if what they are doing if it wasn’t true! But it’s surely pathetic, to see these Socialist liberals pretending that they suddenly care, and “Give a Damn” about our people in uniform, especially our Brave Men and Women in Blue! Because a handful of Trump protestors and even more Antifa thugs dressed as Trump supporters assaulted 1- or 2 police officers during the January 6 riot at the Capitol building. Where Was the Liberal Concern for “Our Men in Uniform” when leftist rioters assaulted DOZENS OF POLICE OFFICERS, and even Killed a Police Officer, and Killed a Retired Police Officer while he was guarding a friends store so that those IDIOTIC “PROTESTERS” didn’t destroy his friends store and it’s contents! So they KILLED him instead! Where were all those Bleeding Heart Liberals when they Seriously Injured Dozens of Police Officers, Burned Police Cars, and Trashed a Police Building During the George Floyd Riots Last Summer? And those Democratic Mayors, and Governors told the Police to “STAND DOWN” Stand Down while they were pelted with Bricks, and other harmful Crap!

    Liberals, Why Were You Silent when your anti-American leftist buddies were Killing Cops, Wounding Cops, Burning Cop Cars, and Trashing a Police Building Last Summer? How about the 19 Other People Who Were Killed by Your Rioting Leftist Buddies During the Riots? “Acceptable Casualties for Social Justice”?.
    Are we supposed to suddenly believe that you Care about the Cops? After you voted to DE-FUND the Police?
    Now, you are the same people that are demanding that there should have been more police at the Capitol Building and every other place that any Violence occurs.
    It’s really ironic. Would you want Social Workers on the front lines to stop this Violence? Or perhaps Miss Alexandria Ocasio Cortez will come to your defense? Or maybe we could “DISMANTLE” the Police force entirely, and have Black Live Matter protect you?
    What the Hell, New York’s Mayor Bill di Blasio allow them to paint “Black Live Matter” in Large Yellow Lettering right on NY’s Fifth Avenue and he even took part in it. Only because of his Hatred towards Donald Trump!

    Liked by 5 people

  8. nrringlee Says:

    The ghost of J Edgar Hoover haunts us to this day. Now, under the guise of the War on Drugs, the War on Terror and the War on Everything citizens are now serfs, probable cause is replaced with wild goose chase guesses based upon public ‘safety’ and the public is conditioned to fear their own liberty in favor of government sponsored ‘public safety.’ Our culture has Negotiated Rights Away, Rationalized Rights Away and surrendered to body cavity searches and immunization based Marks of the Beast and has done so with joyful surrender to centralized authority. Arbeit Macht Frei. Step on up folks. Your Gummint is here to give you social peace, spiritual numbing and more Gummint Cheese. Step right up.

    Liked by 4 people

    • bunkerville Says:

      Guilty ….now prove your innocent and you maybe you can have your stuff back. Good luck America.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mustang Says:

      Excellent points. We do not seem capable of grasping the finer points. What has been the impact of public brainwashing in the guise of public education? For starters, we have several generations of lawyers elevated into judgeships who somehow imagine that secret courts make sense in a free and open society. Secret courts certainly do blow a large hole into the notion of a transparent judicial system. How serious is it? Well, the Supreme Court in all the land thinks that secret courts and covertly negotiated search warrants are peachy. Heck, we can even get FISA warrants based on dossiers manufactured by Henry Miller. My theory is that Marxist America has done a heck of a job through poisoning the education tree — and the icing on that cake is affirmative action. We now have influential people who, cutting to the chase, are morons who every single day render decisions that remove just one more brick from the foundation of American democracy. I’m guessing no more than fifty years remain before we achieve the America Stalin dreamed about.

      Liked by 2 people

      • bunkerville Says:

        …. gee, I am looking forward to the flying cars coming in the next couple of years… hope its not that long.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mustang Says:

        Yeah, the flying cars should be great fun, particularly if they’re all electric-powered with a tank life of fifteen minutes. Should be good news for that Progressive Insurance Plug-in that monitors driving performance. Plus, no one will ever get a speeding ticket ever again because the police will be too busy scraping up body parts from under what remains of the flying cars.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. markone1blog Says:

    If one of the boxes includes a few old Apple computers and has traces of crack cocaine all over it, I predict that the case will be forgotten quickly.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Always On Watch Says:

    Hmmmm….Here in Virginia, we can’t even get an anonymous safety deposit box.

    Liked by 4 people

    • bunkerville Says:

      Private? I know the government had to be at the bank when we opened my parents Lockbox upon their death back in the day… they knew in one day….

      Liked by 1 person

    • the unit Says:

      We had to file through the clerk of the county court to open bro-in-law’s box. Representative of the clerk had to be there. He had no other family. Lucky we found the key, or we’d have had to pay drill fee.
      Think safe deposit boxes is for stuff I might lose. If I don’t lose the key.
      But you’re right, there are still reasons for having one.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. hocuspocus13 Says:

    That stuff goes in the bird feeder … didn’t the Soprano’s teach you anything? 😎😎😎

    Liked by 4 people

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