By now you’ve heard the horror stories about police departments abusing the civil asset forfeiture law to seize cash from hard working citizens.
Even if drivers aren’t carrying cash on them, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol can still seize their money by using a card reader that drains money from their bank accounts!
The ERAD device is a card reader that scans prepaid cards, credit cards or debit cards, then withdraws all the money from the accounts without authorization.
The way it works is a highway patrol officer stops a motorist for a minor traffic infraction. If the officer suspects that the motorist has a lot of money, the officer uses the device to scan the driver’s credit cards or debit card then seizes all the cash in their accounts or credit card balance.
As usual, no warrant is necessary for the police to drain bank accounts.
Highway Patrol Lt. John Vincent told News9 that officers look for body language cues and other signs of deception before seizing cash.
“We’re gonna look for different factors in the way that you’re acting,” Vincent said.
He added that motorists must prove they are business owners, and that the cash is proceeds from their business.
“If you can prove that you have a legitimate reason to have that money it will be given back to you. And we’ve done that in the past,” Vincent said.
But victims who had their cash seized have reported paying thousands of dollars to attorneys and waiting months or even years before their money was returned.
“We’ve seen single mom’s stuff be taken, a cancer survivor [had] his drugs taken,” said State Senator Kyle Loveless. “We’ve seen innocent people’s stuff being taken. We’ve seen where the money goes and how it’s been misspent,” Loveless said.
News 9 obtained a copy of the contract between the CHP and the manufacturer of the ERAD device.
It shows the state paid the company $5,000 for the software and scanners, and the state kicks back 7.7 percent of all the cash the highway patrol