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Cash Seizure

June 28, 1998

I just finished reading the June 23 article about Hosep K. Bajakajian, who had his money seized by the government and had to go to the Supreme Court to get it back. I am appalled at this entire U.S. government seizure program. Apparently, the government feels that seizing assets related to drug offenses is a justifiable action to counter the so-called war on drugs. But the government's attitude, it seems to me, is that dealing in drugs is a far more heinous offense than rape, murder, child molestation, or stealing from elderly people--crimes that apparently are not worthy of "seizing assets."

It would make more sense to me that if the government thinks that the practice of seizing assets in drug-related crimes helps to reduce those problems, why not then seize the assets of people who commit (in my humble opinion) far greater crimes against society?

And whether or not Bajakajian's amount was unreported income to the IRS, the government should pay the maximum amount of interest on that money, plus his attorney's fees.

TRIP HARTING, West Hollywood

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