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AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 13555
Experience:  19+ Years of Legal Practice in Criminal Law.
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my biz chckng account, as well as my brother and sister-in-laws

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my biz chckng account, as well as my brother and sister-in-law's personal checking accounts (who have nothing to do with my business), have been seized by the los angeles sheriff dept. the bank gave me the contact info of the detective that issued the seizure warrant. this is an identity theft officer assigned to a complaint made by ex partner(s) claiming they authorized me to use their credit cards only because i promised to buy real estate 4 them, which is a securities violation. the allegations are false. my question is what basis can the los angeles sheriff department seize my business accounts (and my sibling) w/out real evidence of the supposed "investment fraud" (my sis in law was told i'm being investigated for investment fraud). what steps do i need to take in regards XXXXX XXXXX my business account funds released as those funds are from clients to run and operate my marketing biz. there is no investment fraud, but they are claiming the seizure is due to investment fraud invsgn


Dear inproper,



Dear inproper,


Thank you for your question. I'm so sorry for your troubles here.


In response to your question:


"my question is what basis can the los angeles sheriff department seize my business accounts (and my sibling) w/out real evidence of the supposed "investment fraud" (my sis in law was told i'm being investigated for investment fraud)."



First, I do not think you are correct in that the detective issued the warrant - a detective has not such power or authority. Only a judge or magistrate or simlyar can do so. The detective, however, may have been the major influencing affiant.


The requirements for a seizure warrant include 1) placing the judgment of an independent magistrate between law enforcement officers and the privacy of citizens, --2) invasion of that privacy is authorized only upon a showing that constitutes probable cause, and


3) limits that invasion by specification of the person to be seized, the place to be searched, and the evidence to be sought.


While a warrant is issued ex parte, its validity may be contested in a subsequent suppression hearing if incriminating evidence is found and a prosecution is brought.


You can also make a motion for the return of the property (bank account funds, release of bank account) and this generally may be made in court that issued the warrant.


So, apparently, an independant (yea right) judge issued the warrant, based on probably cause being found. You of course, would argue that there was not probably cause and so the warrant was invalid and your accounts/funds need to be returend. It is irrelevant that you kept other people's money in your account. Remember, even if the evidence turned out to be bogus, probably cause is from the reasonable mind of the detective based on what he has learned (a witness could have lied for instance, but if he has now reason to know it is a lie, it can be part of why the end result was probable cause).


Because they believe the funds in the account are the result of investment fraud, it is similar to "stolen goods", by analogy, and would clearly have to be seized for preservation purposes as well as evidentiary purposes..


Also, i it is very unlikely that they have shared all of the evidence with you, that would be unheard of, even though they are grossly mistaken.


As you can imagine, this is very complicated area of law, and you should hire a solid white collar criminal defense attorney to resolve it as soon as possible and to prevent any railroading.


Hope this helps to clarify.

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Stephanie Joy



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