Taxation without representation.. or just plain ROBBERY ?


DEA Seizes $44,000 from Nail Salon Owner Who Committed No Crime at Airport

Vu Do, the owner of two nail salons in New York City, is learning that once the federal government takes your money, it can be hard to get it back.

Back in February, Do was flying from JFK International Airport to California to visit his two brothers. He was traveling with $44,000 in cash in his bag, his entire life savings, because he intended to use the money to help out his brothers who were having financial problems.

When Do tried to pass through security at JFK, he was stopped by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials, who immediately seized all of his cash. Officials say they seized the money “because the property was used or acquired as a result of a violation of the Controlled Substances Act,” even though there was no evidence of any drug-related activity.

Do says that he has never used, bought, or sold illegal drugs in his life. While the DEA officials let him go without even a citation, they still kept his cash.

In an attempt to get his money back, Do filed a legal complaint, but due to an obscure, 30-day deadline in federal law, he was too late.  The government now officially possesses his money.

Stories such as this are far too common, with police forces and federal agencies seizing money and property without ever charging the owner with a crime. Sign our “End Civil Asset Forfeiture” petition below and let Congress know that the practice of seizing money and property needs to stop.


5 Responses

  1. I don’t know why you think there’s something fishy about having $44,000 in cash when you are a small business owner. It is not illegal to have cash and some people do not trust banks and they prefer to keep their money under the mattress at home. It’s a crime if you try to leave the country with over $10,000 in cash. It is not a crime to carry over 10,000 dollars in cash between states. So what is the problem here? The guy wasn’t charged with a crime and you think our government should be able to keep his hard earned money? I wish it was your money that they took.

    • Correction: it is illegal to leave the United States with over $10,000 in cash if you fail to declare that you are carrying over ten thousand dollars in cash.

      • And now you are worried whether he paid taxes or did not pay taxes on his income? That is a separate issue altogether. This post is about whether or not the government has the right to seize your money when you have not even been charged with any crime. It is not about proper tax filings. I can see why you’re a pharmacist and not a CPA or masters of taxation graduate.

    • Having a bank account is almost a requirement these days, and those without them pay a lot in fees to do their personal business. But I don’t trust banks either. I wrote a check for a hospital bill and mistakenly sent it along with my rent check, and both checks were cashed by my landlord. I didn’t find out about it until months later.

      Do you think there’s anybody left in Greece who trusts banks?

  2. $44,000 in cash? Who in their right mind carries this much cash. What about bank drafts, or just plain electronic funds transfer. There is more to this than life savings. A nail salon owner? Nails are a cash business. Did he pay taxes on the earned income? Something isn’t right about this cash business.

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