December 8, 2023

Civil Rights Attorneys Arguing Biden’s FBI Defied Warrant in Safe Deposit Box Search

Not long after Joe Biden took over the White House, the FBI raided the U.S. Private Vaults store in Beverly Hills.

Reports immediately broke that the FBI had misled the judge who signed the warrant for the raid.

Roughly $86 million was confiscated, and now civil rights attorneys are going after the FBI and Department of Justice for its actions.


The FBI had used the guise of a money laundering scheme to justify the raid.

When they went into the business, they confiscated Cartier bracelets, Rolex watches, collectible coins, and stacks of cash, with an estimated $86 million haul.

The problem, however, was that many of the belongings that were taken were from people who had never been accused of crimes.

The case is now working its way through the courts, the most recent being going before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to decide if the FBI violated 4th Amendment rights with the raid.

Institute for Justice senior attorney Rob Johnson stated, "I think the public sees this and recognizes that this is just a total abuse of people's constitutional rights.”

In all, roughly 1,400 safe deposit boxes were raided, with the FBI contending that “unsavory characters” were using the boxes to “store criminal proceeds.”

The raid took place in March 2021, and two months later, the FBI started “forfeiture proceedings” against some of the boxes, which would result in the government keeping whatever was found in those boxes.

While U.S. Private Vaults did plead guilty to money laundering, there were plenty of people who were merely storing their goods and had nothing to do with that scheme.

Many of those individuals have filed a class-action lawsuit against the government for violating their constitutional rights.

New developments have emerged that the FBI never told the judge they had planned on cracking open boxes, with the warrant only apparently covering business computers, money counters, and surveillance equipment for seizure.

Per the warrant, agents were only permitted to "inspect the contents of the boxes in an effort to identify their owners … so that they can claim their property," and the warrant "does not authorize a criminal search or seizure of the contents of the safety deposit boxes."

Jeni Pearsons, a nonprofit director who rented a box at USPV, stated, "It was really nice to hear the judges ask questions that seemed to put the counsel for the FBI on the back foot.

"That they were being truly questioned about the morality of what happened … it was a good feeling to be there in court today."

The final decision is likely to take several months before the appeals panel releases its ruling.

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