Over two years ago law enforcement came into my perfectly legal business and confiscated my equipment and money on suspicion of illegal gambling. Several agencies were there including County Police, FBI, and IRS. This was an Internet Cafe that had sweepstakes games to help increase business and we were operating in Roanoke County, Virginia. They confiscated over 30 computers, Server, ATM, and around $12,000 in cash of which about $8,000 was in the ATM. No charges were ever filed. After several trips to court over the past two years a judge finally ordered everything returned. Last week I went to pick it all up but for some reason the IRS has kept my cash and computer Server. I have never received any bills from them in the past two years. My attorney said that they have no right to do this but wants $20000 more dollars to proceed which I don't have. They all have used their powers to dish out vigilante Justice simply because they did not like my type of business. I had each customer sign a form explaining how this type of business operated so that there could be no confusion about gambling and the undercover officer read and signed it. However in order to get a search warrant he twisted the facts around to imply to the judge that it was gambling. I have the following questions:1. How do I go about getting my $12,000 and server back from the IRS?2. When an officer lies or purposely twists the facts to get a search warrant is that grounds to get search warrant squashed? If so how do I do that?3. If search warrant is squashed can the County be sued for damages or are they immune to law suites. Vigilante Justice has never been right and someone should have to pay for all of my headaches and loss of income. Ronnie Bennett
State/Country relating to question: Virginia
Two years of headaches.
Hi,Thank you for requesting me. I apologize, but this is a bit beyond the scope of what I normally do, so I'm going to open this up to the other experts. Someone should be with you shortly.
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Hello, I am the professional who will be helping you with your question today. It is a very complex question, so bear with me, as I need some follow up information to be sure I am clear. Were the items ordered to be returned to you after the case was dropped or does an open criminal matter still exist against you for these issues? I see you say no charges were filed, so in what court were you going to in order to have your items returned to you? SmithEsq41099.8926104977
Items were ordered returned because law enforcement said they were not going to prosecute. They knew they had no case. An attorney handled it in Roanoke. I don't know what court.
It would be important to know because generally, the prosecution will hold anything they deem to be "evidence" or something they think will be evidence in a future prosecution (imminently future) and this will usually be allowed by the court, when vouchered for this purpose. So, if you were going to criminal or Supreme Court in a criminal matter where they were prosecuting but perhaps not sure how they were going to proceed, I could see how the judge would order them to release the property. At the same time, if this is the stature of your case, then the money and server could still be considered evidence, perhaps in a federal case against you, and they may be holding onto it for that purpose. At any rate, there are motions you can file to try to convince the court that the property isn't physically necessary in order for them to proceed. In DWI cases, for example, motions like this are done to release vehicles, because the prosecution does not actually need the vehicle to prove the crime. Here, you can make the same argument. You need a motion that forces the IRS and federal government to release your property by proving or convincing the court that those items are not necessary for any prosecution. I can get back to you with more information if that's okay.SmithEsq41099.9040193287
Furthermore, if they are not prosecuting, what is the concern with the search warrant? I get the sense that you are dealing with a case that has yet to be fully charged or indicted, but may very well be if it isn't already. Is that right? Normally, your lawyer will do two motions, a motion to compel disclosure of the search warrant in the first place, to see what evidence was brought before the judge and what was permitted within it. NExt, your lawyer does a motion to controvert the search warrant, citing facts that show the police acted outside it's scope or that it was invalid in the first place. Please continue to ask follow up questions, as needed, although I'm answering the question for you to rate positively, I hope, you are free to continue the conversation if you have further questions, and I encourage you to do so. Finally, you can not sue the state, generally, because states have immunity. Your recourse is to file motions to release your property.Just wanted to add that the reason they can release your property, even if they say it is evidence is that they can, and usually do take photos of it instead.SmithEsq41099.9113222569
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I just wanted to make sure I answered all of your questions. I understand I may not always have great news to give. That's part of my job too, unfortunately. If there is anything else I can help you with, please let me know. Otherwise, I would ask you to please rate me positively so that I do get credit for answering your question. Following that, if you still have questions, you are free to ask them of me as much as you need to.
Hi, I wanted to know if there was any more information I could provide you, as I see you have not yet accepted my answer. If you are not fully satisfied yet, please ask me! What can I tell you? Otherwise, I would just ask that you accept my answer as its the only way I get any credit for my work. I remain available for follow up questions as well. Thank you!
Hello! It's been some time and I wondered if you had follow up questions? Also, You ave not yet rated my service, and since I get no credit unless you rate it three stars or above, and because we sent some time on the Susie I wanted to make sure you are satisfied before you rate my answer. Is there anything else I can do to help?
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