The fed isn’t only interested in seizing and holding state land they claim needs protection, they also go after the ‘little guy,’ as in the case of Michigan resident John Gutowski.
In 2013, federal authorities arrested Gutowski, charging him with conspiring to commit marriage fraud. The case: Too many marriage applications filed by immigrant residents living in apartment buildings he owned.
Evidently, Gutowski leased his apartments to Eastern European immigrants but the government alleged that he was actually helping them to find Americans willing to marry them so that they could stay in the country. They also confiscated over $250,000 in personal seized assets.
This goes against everything in that’s memorialized in Article IV of the U.S. Constitution: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Prosecutors were eventually forced to drop the charges. But they held on to the $250,000 in assets claiming the funds were the illicit proceeds of his ‘sham marriage operation’ though they lacked evidence. This goes to show that no criminal charges or convictions are necessary to strip you of your property.
In fact all the government needs do is show that the property was used in, or was the result of, a crime and it’s up to the owner to disprove to prove his or her own innocence. This differs from criminal law procedures where the burden of proof always rests with the government.
And under federal law and in most state laws, the law enforcement agencies that seize property get to keep and spend the proceeds. This gives them a financial incentive to seize property, even under questionable circumstances like Gutowski’s.
As Karl Marx wrote, “The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property.”