Originally Posted by Clickback
As an American have you ever opened a bank account in a foreign country and tried to send money??????
Its very time consuming, frustrating, and often very high fees.
They probably could have had the casino in Puerto Rico wire a good chunk of that money to one of their banks back home.
In any case, the real story here is how, after the seizure, they provided sufficient documentation to prove that the money was from their gambling professionally, but a DEA officer still tried to maliciously mislead a judge into making the seizure permanent.
According to the complaint,
the DEA’s background searches on Fiore and Gipson
showed them to be “squeaky clean.” Nonetheless, according
to the complaint, Walden and another DEA agent provided a
false probable cause affidavit to the United States Attorney in
the Northern District of Georgia, to assist in bringing a forfeiture
action. Specifically, Fiore and Gipson allege in the complaint
that this probable cause affidavit falsely stated that
Gipson had been uncooperative and had refused to respond to
questions; that Fiore and Gipson had given inconsistent
answers during questioning; and that there was sufficient evidence
for probable cause to forfeit the funds as drug proceeds.
Also, according to the complaint, Walden left out exculpatory
evidence he knew about when he submitted the affidavit: that
Fiore and Gipson had no history of unlawful drug use or
trade; that they had documentation showing them to be advantage
gamblers; that their bags had passed through an agricultural
x-ray and other inspections used for contraband
detection without incident; that Fiore and Gipson had provided
actual receipts for most of the funds that they carried;
and that the $30,000 Gipson was carrying could be traced
directly to a legal source, his winnings at El San Juan Casino
(The casino provided a letter stating that they had won 30k)
The case was referred to Assistant United States Attorney
(AUSA) Dahil Goss. After determining that Walden had in
fact omitted information, with the result that the probable
cause affidavit he provided was misleading, Goss concluded
that there was no probable cause for the forfeiture of the
funds. Goss contacted Fiore and Gipson and offered to return
their funds in exchange for a release, presumably of any possible
legal claims, but they refused to execute one. Nonetheless,
Goss directed the DEA to return Fiore and Gipson’s
money. The $97,000 was returned to them in Las Vegas on
March 1, 2007, nearly seven months after the seizure at the
Atlanta airport and six months after Fiore and Gipson had
provided Walden with the requested documentation showing
the legal source of their funds.