Civil Asset Forfeiture Corruption in NY

Suffolk County prosecutors accepted “bonuses” paid out of civil asset forfeiture proceeds:

Bonus recipients included deputy chief homicide prosecutor Robert Biancavilla, who received a total of $108,886 between 2012 and 2017, and division chief Edward Heilig and top public corruption prosecutor Christopher McPartland, who each received $73,000, according to records obtained from county Comptroller John Kennedy’s office through the Freedom of Information Law

Meanwhile, the former elected District Attorney, Thomas Spota, has been charged in the cover-up of the beating of a suspect by the a former police chief who was convicted in the assault.  One Suffolk County legislator has proposed having a more independent group determine whether seized money could be spent on bonuses.  That’s a good start.  Better would be protections against civil asset forfeiture in the first place by requiring a guilty verdict and proof that the funds being seized compensate the state (or victim) for the loss they incurred.

As it stands, civil asset forfeiture as a policy is rife with abuses that need to be corrected.

Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.