Shelby County man in fight to get $900,000 seized by feds -Theft by the Feds?

Discussion in 'The Bar' started by dawg, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

    Aug 19, 2010
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    Jabari Mosley brought a safe to Alabama Lock & Key and asked a locksmith to open it. The locksmith pried open the safe, found nearly $900,000 in cash inside and called the police, starting a legal fight by the Shelby County man to get his money back from federal drug agents. Mosley has not been charged with any crime since the safe was opened in May. He says in a lawsuit that he didn't commit a crime and the money was unlawfully seized. Federal officials said there is probable cause to believe the money was connected to illegal drug activity, and so they can seize the money.
    Six months since a crow bar was used to open the safe, Mosley is still trying to get his money back.

    Mosley's attorneys on Tuesday filed an amended complaint against Alabama Lock & Key saying the company converted the contents of the safe to its own use by way of a private seizure and seeks $894,000 against the business.
    Alabama Lock & Key officials also on Tuesday filed a request for a judge to dismiss Mosley's complaint, saying among other things that law enforcement, not the company, has possession of the money.
    The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Mosley's attorney seem to agree on one thing: This is an unusual case.
    "The case is a curiosity from beginning to the end," said Greg Borland, assistant special agent in charge of the DEA's Birmingham district office. "If I had $900,000 in a safe, I would know the combination ... or I would spend $30,000 on a welding class," he said.
    In a letter to DEA attorneys July 12, Mosley's attorney Joel Dillard introduced the firm as representing Mosley "in what must be one of the most unusual seizures of currency that you will encounter in your career."
    Efforts to reach Mosley or Dillard for comment were unsuccessful.
    The locksmith who opened the safe declined comment Tuesday. A call to Alabama Lock & Key's attorney was not returned Tuesday.
    According to a civil lawsuit filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office in an attempt to have the money forfeited, the locksmith saw the money once the safe was opened on May 18, when Mosley said he had lost the combination. Mosley told him he didn't care if the safe was destroyed in trying to open it.
    He also said the lock and key worker could "have one of the bags of money if he gave Mosley the other six bags and did not call police."
    The money was turned over to a DEA task force officer after a Birmingham police drug detection dog was brought in and indicated the presence of a controlled substance within the safe, according to the government's forfeiture lawsuit.
    A police officer told Mosley that a drug dog "hit" on the safe, but Mosley said he did not see any noticeable reaction in the dog, according to an affidavit Mosley filed.
    "No controlled substance or illegal substance or object of any kind was discovered in my safe or on my person or on the premises of Alabama Lock & Key, and during the four months and three days since, I have not been charged with any crime, or arrested by anyone," Mosley said in his Sept. 21 affidavit.
    Mosley has a pending lawsuit against a DEA task force officer, the city of Birmingham and Alabama Lock & Key to try and get the money returned to him.
    Mosley's lawsuit says the money was wrongfully seized and transferred to the DEA under a process known as "adoptive seizure" and that the city of Birmingham is trying to get 80 percent of the cash and DEA 20 percent as a fee.
    Mosley told law enforcement officers that the safe and contents were his, according to the government's civil lawsuit seeking forfeiture of the money.
    "Mosley further claimed that he had been saving the money for 10 years and kept the safe at his house until he asked the locksmith to open it," according to the government's civil lawsuit.
    "When asked about his income, Mosley further stated that he invested in real estate and owned an automotive business," according to the government's civil lawsuit.
    The $894,800 was packaged in seven clear plastic bags that held 99 bundles of money held together by rubber bands, according to the government's lawsuit.
    DEA task force officers, with Mosley's consent, searched Mosley's car and found documents with handwritten notes referring to certain individuals known by law enforcement to be involved in illegal drug trafficking and to the possible liquidation of assets of a known drug trafficking organization, according to the governments forfeiture lawsuit.
    "In February 2010 Mosley was interviewed by law enforcement about the drug traffickers referenced in the handwritten notes found in his car, but he denied any relationship with those individuals at that time," according to the government's lawsuit.
    During an interview with law enforcement on May 18, 2010, Mosley acknowledged that he was convicted of marijuana trafficking in 1999, and a review of Mosley's employment history showed "no legitimate income" to account for the possession of the money, according to the government's lawsuit. The government claims that the money was, or was intended to be, used for a drug transaction.
    Borland couldn't comment on specifics of the case because there's an ongoing investigation.
    "We do believe it is related to a crime," Borland said. "We didn't just do this at random."
    Borland said the money can be seized if there are no charges. The forfeiture is a civil action against the money, not any individual, he said.
  2. k4D3t

    k4D3t Reverse Apache Master VIP

    Aug 28, 2010
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    This amuses me for a lot of different reasons, but mostly because there is a decent chance that the IRS will apply income tax to the amount seized (because income is earned at the moment you are entitled to possess it, which was plainly some time before the safe was opened -- the fact it was seized has no bearing on application of the tax -- and the burden is on the TAXPAYER to prove it is not income) and then the state of Alabama will tack on their share based on the federal amount, not to mention hefty failure to report penalties. This guy may be losing quite a bit more money than he already has.
  3. GSD

    GSD Active Member

    Sep 22, 2010
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    :facepalm: doh, this bonehead blew it. now he's screwed
  4. Napoleon V2

    Napoleon V2 New Member Banned User

    Oct 4, 2010
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    Locksmiths a snitch who should be hanged
  5. x76

    x76 Just a crazy old hermit VIP Gold

    Oct 12, 2010
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    How is this not THEFT plain and simple?