Oklahoma Cops Debut Tool That Allows Them To Drain Pre-Paid Cards During Traffic Stops

from the Square,-but-for-fucking-citizens dept

A couple of years ago -- as the ugliness of asset forfeiture abuse was becoming a mainstream media topic -- the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's senior Washington correspondent published a cautionary article featuring a very blunt headline:

American shakedown: Police won't charge you, but they'll grab your money

In it, the CBC's Neil MacDonald pointed out that being "not from around here," coupled with rental vehicles and cash -- made visiting Canadians little more than rolling ATMs for "drug interdiction task forces" sporting nifty acronyms and friendly asset-sharing partnerships with federal agencies.

MacDonald listed a few tactics that might lower Canadians' chances of being robbed at badgepoint:

Avoid long chats if you're pulled over. Answer questions politely and concisely, then persistently ask if you are free to go.

Don't leave litter on the vehicle floor, especially energy drink cans.

Don't use air or breath fresheners; they could be interpreted as an attempt to mask the smell of drugs.

Don't be too talkative. Don't be too quiet. Try not to wear expensive designer clothes. Don't have tinted windows.

And for heaven's sake, don't consent to a search if you are carrying a big roll of legitimate cash.

Cash = guilt to many law enforcement agencies, even if they're only interested in pursuing cash, rather than criminal charges.

WHERE'S YOUR MOSES NOW?

[T]he Oklahoma Highway Patrol has a device that also allows them to seize money in your bank account or on prepaid cards.

It's called an ERAD, or Electronic Recovery and Access to Data machine, and state police began using 16 of them last month.

Here's how it works. If a trooper suspects you may have money tied to some type of crime, the highway patrol can scan any cards you have and seize the money.

Well… fuck.

So much for keeping the thieving, non-prosecuting cops off your back by carrying prepaid cards rather than cash. Highway-patrolling drug warriors are now going to be pressing the narrative that drug dealers and other criminals now use cards, because asset forfeiture has severely disrupted the cash-based drug economy or something.

There's literally no way to win. Any amount of money is considered inherently suspicious when it's in cash form. Now any amount of money -- no matter where it's stored -- can be declared the fruits of criminal activity by a cop with an ERAD device. Law enforcement can now drain any prepaid cards in your possession all without you having to leave the driver's seat.

And they have every incentive to do so. ERAD sells these devices to cops for $5,000 and takes 7.7% of the haul. (Here's Oklahoma's contract [PDF] with ERAD for the devices.) These devices aren't going to pay for themselves. Nope, citizens will pay for them -- twice. First, during the initial outlay and a second time when their cards are drained by law enforcement officers.

But it's totally cool because there's an almost non-existent chance you'll be able to recover improperly-seized funds at some undetermined point in the future.

"If you can prove can prove that you have a legitimate reason to have that money it will be given back to you. And we've done that in the past," [Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. John] Vincent said about any money seized.

Sure, that sounds like due process, but it really isn't. Law enforcement agencies have at least 30 days before they have to officially notify those whose money they've seized. From that point, seized assets head into a labyrinthine adjudication process in which the government does everything it can to keep the owners of forfeited cash from participating, starting with in rem proceedings that pit the state versus seized money, rather than against the person from which the funds were seized.

To navigate this, you need a lawyer, preferably one with experience in recovering forfeited property. That isn't cheap. During the long, expensive process, agencies will often try to push people into accepting low-dollar settlements that allow the government to keep money it hasn't proven is tied to criminal activity.

In many cases, the dollar amount is low enough that the expense of recovering it makes it a losing proposition. But those lower dollar amounts can also be the difference between solvency and bankruptcy for someone who's had their money seized. With this technology, officers will literally be stealing people's paychecks, as those who aren't able to secure a checking account are now almost exclusively receiving their paychecks on reloadable prepaid cards.

And, in almost every state, including Oklahoma, there's no conviction stipulation tied to asset forfeiture, meaning the government only has to stake a claim based on dubious "evidence" -- like the driver was traveling on a major interstate, had one too many air fresheners in the car, an officer thought he smelled marijuana, etc. -- to hold onto money it can't prove is tied to criminal activity.


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  • icon
    Ehud Gavron (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 8:34am

    Prepaid debit cards only? Coerce PIN for others?

    Comments on Scott Greenfield's blog about this topic suggest that the ERAD device will definitely take all your prepaid debit money. They say that bank-cards with PINs will require you "giving" law enforcement your PIN for them to drain the account. They also say that the credit transaction will be disputed and reversed.

    http://blog.simplejustice.us/2016/06/09/erad-because-its-not-just-about-the-cash/

    I know we're hearing the tip of the iceberg here (sorry to mix metaphors) but thanks for the head's up. The more this odious abuse of due process is given the light of day the less this practice will be treated as lawful... or allowed. (Note I didn't say "tolerated").

    Ehud Gavron
    Tucson AZ

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    • identicon
      me@me.net, 9 Jun 2016 @ 8:51am

      Re: Prepaid debit cards only? Coerce PIN for others?

      nothing but thieves

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        McFortner (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 10:33am

        Re: Re: Prepaid debit cards only? Coerce PIN for others?

        Actually, they can do it without your pin. There is a 3 digit number on the back of your card called the card security code that can be used to make online purchases. All they need is that number and they are good to go without you giving up your pin.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Card_security_code

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 3:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: Prepaid debit cards only? Coerce PIN for others?

          Thankfully, Canadian bank cards require chip and pin, and won't debit money just with the mag strip and CVV. Credit cards, of course, can be easily disputed which would result in the precinct having its merchant account revoked in short order.

          It boggles my mind that there are currently stored value cards out there that don't require chip and pin to drain money from the card. This problem was solved by 1998.

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          • icon
            Roger Strong (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 7:21pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Prepaid debit cards only? Coerce PIN for others?

            Canadian cards will still make a purchase with just the mag strip and CVV. Occasionally a reader will have trouble with my chip (I should probably switch to the new card I got in the mail this week) and tell me to use the mag stripe.

            Since the ERAD badgepoint theft device likely doesn't spit out money but instead just transfers it to another account, it'll probably fall under the purchase rather than withdrawal rules.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 12:10pm

        Re: Re: Prepaid debit cards only? Coerce PIN for others?

        i guess its like a self fulfilling prophesy, its a proceed of crime once they've committed the crime of stealing it off you

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:23am

      Re: Prepaid debit cards only? Coerce PIN for others?

      "A bank card does, and so the cops can’t take anything unless you foolishly give them your PIN."

      A take it you use the word “foolishly” because there are no such adverbs as “under-threat-of-life-plus-cancer-ishly” or “semi-consciously-wheezing-through-broken-teeth-ishly”.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 11:47am

      Re: Prepaid debit cards only? Coerce PIN for others?

      The comments may have said that, but the articles linked by Greenfield specify
      Although the device does not allow funds from non-prepaid cards to be frozen or seized, it can provide the officer information about those cards such as the card number, the name on the card, expiration date and the card issuer.
      Which only means that they know exactly which accounts to sieze from the Oklahoma visitor, rather than having to ask around.

      The part from the article that struck me as hilarious was
      The device logs which trooper is using the device when a card is swiped.
      ... as if records in police custody are never "accidentally destroyed", "aged out" due to a convenient policy, or lost "due to technical faults".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    aethercowboy (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 8:49am

    Oklahoma!? Trump's proposed wall isn't north enough...

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  • identicon
    Theoden, 9 Jun 2016 @ 8:50am

    Another reason to stay away from OK

    This just adds weight to the theory that Texas doesn't fall into the Gulf of Mexico because Oklahoma sucks.

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  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 9 Jun 2016 @ 8:51am

    Used to be you could teach children to trust police officers. Not any more. They see you as an enemy, they are the enemy. Besides, if you teach them to trust police then when they become of an age where they start to think for themselves they will realize you lied to them. I realized I was lied to about cops when Upper Darby cops threw us in a paddy wagon and drove us wildly to Cobbs Creek PKWY & Webster and made us get out. For those of you that dont know the area, that part of town is not exactly friendly to 15 year old long haired white boys. That was 31 years ago. I wish we had cell phones back then.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:33am

      Re:

      I would argue that ever having told kids to trust the police was the start of the downfall.

      You cannot ever trust government because distrust is one of the mechanisms that helps to keep government honest. Trust just says, it's okay to be corrupt.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 8:52am

    highway robbery quite simple.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 11:59am

      Re:

      "Police always observe that criminals prosper. It takes a pretty dull policeman to miss the fact that the position of authority is the most prosperous criminal position available."
      - Frank Herbert, God Emperor of Dune

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Coyne Tibbets (profile), 10 Jun 2016 @ 12:18am

      Re:

      No, it was highway robbery. The cops have graduated to bank robbery.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 8:52am

    From the department of: 'What is mine is mine and what is yours is mine, get over it.'

    So, what is the difference between money one earns and money that is proceeds of a crime? In the eyes of law enforcement, apparently, if you have money left over after paying your taxes, that's a crime.

    Now when are they going to consider the economy?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:14am

      Re: From the department of: 'What is mine is mine and what is yours is mine, get over it.'

      'What is mine is mine and what is yours is mine, get over it.'
      The Orange Lantern Corps

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 8:55am

    Your honor, this money is guilty of the crime of being good at paying for stuff. I move to have it used to pay for our stuff, because, reasons.

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  • icon
    Nathan F (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 8:56am

    So what happens when OK police drain someones foodstamp or tax refund card?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 10 Jun 2016 @ 12:23am

      Re:

      That will make you think twice before using your foodstamps and tax refund cards to buy illicit drugs.

      Remember: that money is being confiscated not because its source is illegal but because it was planning to commit a criminal transaction.

      You can be lucky that they don't charge a wad of twenties for forming a conspirative terrorist group, all in the same pocket.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:01am

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140915/09500928521/canadian-news-outlet-warns-canadians-that-us- law-enforcement-officers-will-pull-them-over-seize-their-cash.shtml


    Michael, Sep 17th, 2014 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re: Travelers Checks
    That's right. Plus, we haven't seen any US law enforcement officers forcing people to withdraw money from the ATM yet.

    [T]he Oklahoma Highway Patrol has a device that also allows them to seize money in your bank account or on prepaid cards.

    So money in the bank is illegal now too?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:06am

    Sounds like Oklahoma wants incentivize crypto-currency. I heartily approve.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anon E. Mous (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:19am

    The more stories of asset forfeiture come to the forefront, the more horrified I am at the abuse of power that is taking place all across the country.

    There is no you are innocent until you are proven guilty with the forfeiture of your funds.

    Many folks carry cash when travelling on the road of if they are going to make a purchase outright or a down payment ( which a lot of people still do when going to buy goods such as vehicles, recreational vehicles, Furniture, Electronics etc) because some times the seller doesn't want a cheque or a bank draft due to fraudsters making those various forgeries and some times you can get a better deal with cash.

    It was bad enough that anyone who had cash and got stopped and said they had cash was suspected of drug dealing or money laundering or whatever else the cop that pulled you over thought was appropriate to liberate you money now they can do it and take your funds because you have a prepaid debit or credit card??? Like WTF

    This is more than an abuse of police power but this is an abuse of due process and of a persons constitutional rights. Just because I carry cash or a pre paid card does not mean I am doing it for nefarious purposes.

    I have had upwards of 35k in cash on me and it wasnt for illegal purposes but it is because I got to a lot of vehicle and equipment auctions and buy vehicles, tools, equipment that I will then sell for a profit (hopefully).

    I carry that kind of cash because I know if I am buying cars trucks SUV or what not that at an auction and depending how many I buy and for what price that I can pay the price for the vehicle, the auctioneers fee and the taxes and then take it home that very day or get it paid for and come pick it up later and thus dont have to worry about any storage fees charged by the auction facility.

    So because I have that kind of cash does it mean I am a criminal or doing something nefarious, no it doesnt, but somehow I doubt the cops would care even if I had proof.

    The more I hear about asset forfeiture of peoples cash the more I liken it to copyright trolling and patent trolling who look for victims and then shake them down for settlements, to me this has ring to it like asset forfeiture in that some people are not going to fight it and those who do get offered a percentage of their money back and the cops etc keep the rest.

    I find it even more astonishing that this company that makes this device is taking 7.7% of what the cops seize and that state and federal agencies think this is all A-OK that people are being robbed by roadside bandits disguised as law enforcement... oh wait IT IS law enforcement!

    It is shady shit like this that just heaps more distrust of law enforcement and government who are supposed to be looking out for it's citizens, not running roughshod over their rights and stealing from them.

    When I was young we were always taught that the police officer is your friend and they are their to help you, but these days it seems while that it is getting to be more and more of dont trust the police officer and what you do and say for fear of where it may lead you in your interactions with them.

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    • identicon
      Whatevah, 9 Jun 2016 @ 10:26am

      Re:

      I have had upwards of 35k in cash on me and it wasnt for illegal purposes but it is because I got to a lot of vehicle and equipment auctions and buy vehicles, tools, equipment that I will then sell for a profit (hopefully).

      Yeah, and then you'll go out and buy drugs with the profits. See, they know how that works.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 11:34am

      Re:

      We can only hope that enough citizens start fighting back against criminals wearing badges.

      That fighting back can be political or it can be physical, if the politicians refuse to stop this illegal behaviour by the supposed "law enforcement".


      If someone demands my money at the point of a gun I will shoot to defend myself not hand over my money to highway thieves.

      Probably going to die, but I will die defending my rights.

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    • identicon
      David, 9 Jun 2016 @ 1:51pm

      Re:

      This is more than an abuse of police power but this is an abuse of due process and of a persons constitutional rights. Just because I carry cash or a pre paid card does not mean I am doing it for nefarious purposes.

      They aren't arresting and charging you. They are arresting and charging the cash. Who knows what nefarious purposes that cash or pre paid card might have had? Be glad that the police rescued you from it before it could put its sinister designs into effect.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    crade (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:24am

    Of course there's a way to win.. Don't go to the states. Fortunately they aren't sending raiding parties yet.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 10:29am

      Re:

      Don't go to the states. Fortunately they aren't sending raiding parties yet.

      I wonder if they could request extradition of your guilty money.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Wyrm (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 12:24pm

      Re:

      Actually, they do. Ask Kim Dotcom and that young British guy. (Sorry, forgot his name.)
      Both are wanted in the US despite never having been there.

      Kim's arrest was particularly spectacular, a raid worthy of Hollywood movies. (And probably just as costly too.)

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 12:42pm

        The raid on Kim Dotcom's home.

        And conducted with the oversight of Hollywood guys. For some fancy reason MPAA and studio officials were there to witness the raid.

        As Dotcom pointed out later, his workplace is public. His commutes are routine. There are plenty of ways they could have arrested him without busting down his door.

        Someone wanted the action and drama.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 1:49pm

      Re:

      Oh that works assuming you can avoid the state in your travels without travelling literally hundreds of miles out of your way... until the practice starts spreading to all the other states, as you can be sure that every other police group in the country is absolutely drooling over the idea of being able to steal money even from those that tried to avoid theft by using a card.

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  • icon
    scotts13 (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:25am

    Growth industry of the 21st century!

    I suppose you could hire someone to escort you on your road trip and distract/defend against the police.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:37am

      Re: Growth industry of the 21st century!

      "someone to escort you on your road trip and distract/defend against the police"

      Nope. That right there is resisting arrest. And even a conspiracy to resist arrest (if there isn't such a crime, wait 5 minutes).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 11:36am

        Re: Re: Growth industry of the 21st century!

        I do love how you can be charged with arresting arrest and no other charges.

        Which makes no sense unless you are being targeted by dirty cops.

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        • identicon
          David, 10 Jun 2016 @ 2:52am

          Re: Re: Re: Growth industry of the 21st century!

          They can even charge you with resisting arrest if you don't put up resistance to being arrested because of resisting arrest.

          Too lazy to dig up the reference, but they did that to a lawyer in a courthouse who had the audacity to advise her client that he/she did not need to answer any of the "casual questions" the police wanted to ask.

          So they arrested her for resisting arrest, without resistance and booked her for a few hours or over night (don't remember which).

          The judge wasn't overly impressed, but the principal goal, namely retaliation in the form of harrassment, still had been accomplished.

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    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 2:38pm

      Re: Growth industry of the 21st century!

      This sounds like a job for the A-Team! I guess BA will appreciate going by car instead of flying, and I'm sure Howlin' is great fun for conversations while on the road.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2016 @ 9:16am

      Re: Growth industry of the 21st century!

      The new Knights Templar?

      So that's why they want to ban encryption.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    lucidrenegade (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:30am

    I'd like to know the FACTS about how this actually works. Most of what I see here is conjecture. Can they actually take money from your bank account or credit cards, or does it only apply to prepaid cards?

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    • icon
      Berenerd (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:42am

      Re:

      They can take money from your Debit cards if you give them your Pin.

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 12:44pm

        It sounds like they can pull it as a POS transaction

        If they can use the 3-digit (or 4-digit amex) security code, then they may be doing it as a POS transaction. I don't know if it's a large amount (e.g. more than $5K) if they'll need to confirm it with the bank. A police ID number should suffice.

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    • icon
      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 8:26pm

      Re:

      It's closed loop, which means just pre-paid cards. For now. It won't take much to expand it to include others.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:31am

    And what do banks/VISA, etc have to say about this? If they can steal money like this clearly the security of those cards isn't good.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 10:34am

      Re:

      And what do banks/VISA, etc have to say about this?

      The banks and credit card companies are government partners, so I wouldn't expect them to resist much if at all.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Atkray (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 3:39pm

      Re:

      I wondered the same thing and concluded that the only way out of this is to get the technology out in the wild so that even a middle school kid can build them and scan cards.

      If enough people are doing this the card makers will shut it down.

      Then, I woke up.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:34am

    Can the RIAA / MPAA get one of these?

    Or maybe just modify the DMCA so that a takedown notice also automatically drains all the funds of the recipient of the notice?

    Wouldn't that be about the same amount of due process as victims of Oklahoma cops are getting?

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  • icon
    Berenerd (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:43am

    Sadly, the Xfiles were right when they said "Trust No One"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:47am

    The Bad Good Old Days

    Can somebody remind me why we invented lawyers, courts and judges? Did I just dream them up or did they actually exist at one point? If so, it seems they're just a historical anachronism and we are now firmly back where, as peasants, we always belonged.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 11:44am

      Re: The Bad Good Old Days

      a group of men had a dream where all men were created and treated as equals( not withstanding the obvious problems with that). The current ones in charge seem very envious of how North korea, stalinist russia or nazi germany ran things to the point where they are forcing the once "land of the free home of the brave" into another police state tyranny.

      where those at the top have all the wealth, power and control. Everyone else is treated as slaves to be exploited.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:52am

    I have to be the one to say this but the only thing this is going to do is force the people to actively revolt against all forms of law enforcement in this country and that every cop now has a target painted on their back.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    vastrightwing, 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:54am

    how can I try out my new toy?

    Sure, these won't be abused. We are LEOs. You can trust us. Except these LEOs have cool new toys and boy do they want to try them out!

    I have zero doubt, combining high tech weapons with no accountability and a reason to use them, they will be used as often as possible. I expect one is in use right now while I write this.

    In fact, they better scale up seizures before the serfs catch on and the law catches up. But then I'm cynical.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:54am

    If you want to send emails to the company behind this scheme, here is their website:

    https://www.erad-group.com/

    Tell them how much you enjoy them creating this technology.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ehud Gavron (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 9:55am

    Freeze funds AND credit too...

    "Electronic Recovery and Access to Data (ERAD) card readers can also document and check the balance on credit, debit, or prepaid cards, and freeze funds."

    http://www.popsci.com/card-reader-allow-oklahoma-cops-to-seize-suspects-money

    Ehud

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 10:01am

    ERAD would do well to market this card reader in Latin America, where the cops have historically encouraged people (especially tourists) to pay their traffic fines in cash on the spot.

    Although Latin American cops have earned a rather notorious reputation for bribery, the "fines" are usually small (and often negotiable) and the payments basically "voluntary" -- unlike the US cops who force strongarm searches and take everything of value they find.

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  • identicon
    DogBreath, 9 Jun 2016 @ 10:09am

    We're from the Government. We're here to help you.

    The most scary two sentences in any language.

    To think it all started at the U.S. Borders (A.K.A "Constitution Free Zone")

    Scanning Prepaid Cards At The Border Won’t Stop Money Laundering - October 18, 2012

    and

    Department Of Homeland Security To Scan Payment Cards At Borders And Airports - Nov 07, 2012


    As far as them being able to drain your bank accounts through your ATM cards, if they're not doing it now it only means they're not doing it YET, but I'm sure they will be working on getting that implemented too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Improbus (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 10:17am

    Easy Workaround to this Crap

    Bitcoin. Buy bitcoin before you leave your origin point then get it back out at your destination in local currency. I hear they even have bitcoin ATMs now. Bonus points because you can convert as much money as you want to bitcoin and the thieving bastards can't touch it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 10:55am

      Re: Easy Workaround to this Crap

      The next new tech they'll have will automatically scan your devices for bit coin wallet files and copy them. Then they own your bit coins too.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 10 Jun 2016 @ 7:02am

      Easier Workaround

      Stay out of countries ruled by crime syndicates. Mad Max was a motion picture, not a rule book.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 10:18am

    What does ERAD think about this?

    Does ERAD care about how clients use their technology?
    Do they care that LEO's are seizing money without due process? It's one thing to seize someone's money after they've been accused and arrested for a crime, but it's a completely different matter when the police take the money simply because it's there.

    And it's yet another thing when ERAD takes a percentage of every seizure. So again, so they know the money is coming from innocent people?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 11:14am

      Re: What does ERAD think about this?

      I hope they are saving every cent coming to them from this tech since they will be drawn into the RICO investigations once the people being robbed start to fight back. Taking things without conviction is theft. Making tools marketed to facilitating theft is a crime as well. Enjoy the free (negative) advertising once every paper in the country starts reporting on the court case.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 12:10pm

      Re: What does ERAD think about this?

      I think you know the answer to your own question. No, they don't care. Why? Because greed and money.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 12:46pm

      Re: What does ERAD think about this?

      ERAD gets 7% of the take. So of course they are concerned about what their tech will be used to do. Mainly they're worried that it won't be used to seize enough assets.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    limbodog (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 10:20am

    Bitcoin, then?

    Are you carrying a debit and/or credit card? Clearly you're part of a cartel. We have an app for that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 2:58pm

      Re: Bitcoin, then?

      Bitcoin? You must be a criminal mastermind! That means not only the money is a criminal but also you are because you tried to hide your crime. See you in 10 years...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    concerned citizen, 9 Jun 2016 @ 10:22am

    helping hand

    It feels like excited delirium type shit could come your way if you refuse to give up your pin.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 10:36am

    Bitcoin

    is looking better every day. No wonder cops hate it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 10:37am

    i'm sure they are working out the details now on how to max your cards, drain your accounts, and otherwise saddle you with debt if they catch you driving with a tail light out or one that's likely to go out some day.

    now that's if you have a not excellent citizenship score. that score is why all the snooping is going on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    McFortner (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 10:44am

    I feel a new musical coming on....

    "OOOOk-lahoma where your bank accounts are drained!
    And where the police feel free when they've pulled over me
    To take all the money that they can see!
    Oklahoma, Ev'ry pullover is a cop's jackpot,
    On the side of the road police will say
    They can take all of my hard earned pay!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Nathan F (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 10:56am

    Couldn't this be considered unauthorized access absent a court order?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 11:21am

      Re:

      Haha! Look at Nathan, he thinks we still have 4th amendment protections!

      *weeps uncontrollably*

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 1:52pm

      Re:

      I'm not sure if you've noticed, but judges tend to fall all over themselves to give police anything and everything they want, whether that be letting one of them off the hook for something that would put anyone else in jail for years/decades or letting them rob and steal to their black heart's content.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 9 Jun 2016 @ 11:14am

    They are right!

    During the long, expensive process, agencies will often try to push people into accepting low-dollar settlements that allow the government to keep money it hasn't proven is tied to criminal activity.

    In my view, that's the point of time where the money definitely becomes tied to criminal activitity.

    Self-fulfilling prophecy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 11:47am

    Seems like if I ever have to drive though Oklahoma, I need to find a nice little hidey-hole for my plastic. Considering cars are mostly plastic and credit cards are thin and small it shouldn't be too difficult.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 12:06pm

    THEN

    you get a 3rd party to CLAIM the money as Found money..
    The Officer has to be Pulled in to declare HOW/WHEN/WHY he claimed the money..

    And if this is a friend of the Officer...the officer can relinquish the claim...MONEY IN HIS POCKET..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 12:11pm

    their new slogan - "license, registration and debit card please"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 12:14pm

    In Related News

    Oklahoma Tourist Bureau declares bankruptcy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 12:18pm

    This is so needlessly complex, instead every time someone enters OK they should stop and paypal the OKHP their bank funds! Easy peasy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 12:21pm

    Almost 15 years since 09110., but the terrorists are still running rampant, so much for the Patriot Act.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    passinglurker, 9 Jun 2016 @ 12:36pm

    I doubt this is stop at prepaid debit gift cards So how long until we see a slew of new self destructing money cards? destroying your card before it can be read is about the only thing I can see being done at this point short of coming up with a fake card that can somehow brick an ERAD and get you in a lot of trouble.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 12:49pm

      The next step is to assume that all electronic money is crime money.

      They'll just go through the card numbers in sequence back at the precinct and drain them all.

      They'll just need to find a way to authorize getting a list of security codes.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 12:52pm

    Can credit cards be maxed out in this fashion?

    If a fellow has $25K in credit, can they just force him to purchase a massive payoff?

    The law is already warped enough that they can seize property without a conviction, it only makes sense that they can torque it a bit more to brand good credit as ill-gotten gains.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 10 Jun 2016 @ 1:44am

      Re: Can credit cards be maxed out in this fashion?

      If you cannot speak intelligibly, how could you have earned your money legally?

      If you can speak intelligibly without college education in the U.S., how could you have educated yourself legally in the U.S.?

      If you have a college education, how could you not be drowning in student debts?

      Clearly there is something fishy going on if you have money.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Joe Random, 9 Jun 2016 @ 1:09pm

    Load cards onto phone

    Not that this should be necessary, but a workaround would be to load the cards into something like Android Pay, and then make sure your phone is securely locked.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 1:25pm

      Re: Load cards onto phone

      Methinks they'd resort to the five-dollar wrench approach.

      Though I may be just interpreting this as brutal determination of a highwayman to get to his prize.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 2:03pm

        "No you're not under arrest or being detained. No you're not free to leave."

        I imagine at that point they'd 'wait for backup' or 'just need to check a few things' until the person was basically forced to hand over the password just so they could leave. The kind of person who uses a device like this and robs people of money anytime they can get their hands on it is not likely the kind of person who would be willing to accept a "No" in any form.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 1:59pm

    Not even trying to pretend anymore

    "If you can prove can prove that you have a legitimate reason to have that money it will be given back to you. And we've done that in the past," [Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. John] Vincent said about any money seized.

    Translation: "If you can prove your innocence after we declare you guilty on the spot and take your criminal money we might give you some of your money back."

    The Oklahoma cops at least have reached the point where they're not even bothering to pretend that 'Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law' applies, they are the law, and if they say someone or something is guilty then it is, and it's up to the accused to prove their innocence after they've already been punished.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    dakre (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 2:07pm

    The only good thing I've seen is a bill (not sure if it's been passed) that states that attorney fees can be awarded in asset forfeiture cases. So if you have to get an attorney to fight it, you're more likely to get one without paying upfront, and it will be more likely you will get your money back because of that.

    Sad thing is, this probably targets anyone who doesn't live in Oklahoma, and targets anyone who doesn't look like a white, well off or rich, person.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 2:51pm

      Re:

      If the text is that attorney's fees can be awarded then it's of extremely limited use, as that will require that the judge find the initial theft unreasonable to a large enough extent that the one filing to get their stolen money back deserve to be compensated, at the cost of the police. I don't think I need to say how high a bar that would be to meet, and it's not one that's likely to be met very often, if ever, given how many judges display a heavy bias in always assuming that the police are right in anything they do.

      Change it to must and it would be slightly better, but only to the extent of a slightly shiny surface covering an absolutely rotten core, that being that money can be stolen without a conviction or even trial, and it's up to the former owner to prove that they deserve to get it back.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Skeeter, 9 Jun 2016 @ 3:06pm

    RICO Act

    This whole issue should be relatively easy to resolve if advanced to a high-enough of a court, if only one affected person would pursue the RICO Act against any law enforcement agency who actually did this.

    Once you win the RICO Act violation, THEN you publicly sue them for expenses and injury. Quite simple.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 6:50pm

      Re: RICO Act

      Once you win the RICO Act violation

      It's getting difficult to imagine a judge these days letting that happen.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 10 Jun 2016 @ 1:46am

        Re: Re: RICO Act

        That's a fine house you have there, judge. Wouldn't it be a shame if we suspected a shoplifter of hiding in there?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Oblate (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 3:09pm

    Would like to see them try this on someone with good pick-pocketing skills. If they can get the cops wallet, they can trick the cop into draining their own cards!

    The best part is the cop would never be able to recover the funds, as they are engaged in criminal activity- armed robbery.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anon E. Mous (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 4:10pm

    Remember when the police duties were to uphold the law and stop crimes from being committed, and help citizens when needed.

    It would seem nowadays that while that still appears to be their directive that various agencies in the Law Enforcement sector have turned their duties of enforcement into revenue generation.

    These days we have photo radar and red light cameras which are alleged to be for enforcement of the laws they fall under but most people see as revenue generation under the guise of enforcement.

    There are quotas for officers to write so many traffic tickets per month (even though most Police agencies deny this, but has been stated as such by some officers) and with those monetary fines it adds up for the department.

    In the city where I live when photo radar was first introduced it made 3 million a year, the next year it made 7 million a year as they bought more photo radar equipped vehicles and they have continued to do so. In 2015 my city police department collected 45 million from photo radar... yes you read that right 45 million.

    People and even politicians have been complaining in my city to the mayor and it's council members that the police departments use of photo radar is not being use as a deterrent as meant, but as a revenue generation tool. The Police and our city Traffic safety office are very elusive about how and why they were able to generate 45 million from photo radar.

    The media in my city had picked up on this and had found out that the powers that be and the police decided to lower the threshold of how many kilometers over the posted speed limit you had to be going over before you got a ticket.

    The city traffic safety office and the police will not confirm or deny what that threshold is and will not confirm what the media is reporting it as.

    The Police and traffic safety office have also been fighting against the call from citizens and council members to put more signs of what the posted speed limit is some areas where the speed goes from 60 to say 50 because they say it is not needed and drivers should know this already.

    every year there are more and more red light and photo radar cameras going up at high traffic locations through out the city. ( and of course while the police and traffic safety office wont say it most of the public know that if you have 45000 cars going thru that particular intersection at rush hour times you are going to catch a percentage speeding and they know this and are playing the odds)

    It seems more and more that law enforcement agencies are concerned with revenue generation under the guise of enforcement, and asset forfeiture seems to be the new "it" thing to achieve that goal.

    The slippery slope and tactics law enforcement is employing these days seems to be of the we do what we want mantra and your rights be damned innocent or not.

    Law Enforcement wonders why there is a major shift in the perception the people have about them nowadays and how they are under such scrutiny by the public and press, maybe it's the shit like this that they do by seizing some citizens money when no crime has been committed is just one more reason why

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 5:21pm

    why not use a phone instead of a cc

    Aren't their methods of using nfc via a linked account. If it's the latest Apple, wouldn't that make your goods more secure against forfeiture?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 7:28pm

    The problem is not the ERAD devices. It's the 'generous' asset forfeiture laws that assume guilt and require innocence to be proven. Reform/remove these laws (and the perverse incentive to use them through adding it to the budget) and ERADs wouldn't be used.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), 9 Jun 2016 @ 8:41pm

    Not OK by me!

    I guess I won't be traveling to Oklahoma any time soon...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2016 @ 8:47pm

      Re: Not OK by me!

      I guess I won't be traveling to Oklahoma any time soon...

      That's OK, they're hoping to have it coming to a police force near you soon!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2016 @ 10:34pm

    i think i'll acquire two or three dozen pre-paid cards with no value just to watch those suckers try to make 'em work.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 10 Jun 2016 @ 12:39am

    Theft not forfeiture

    Okay, forfeiture I don't like, but I could see. The SCOTUS "hint" (not a ruling, just a hint) was that the theory underlying forfeiture was contraband, in the form of an instrument supporting a crime.

    I don't see how this applies. The theory with cash is straightforward enough: untraceable (nearly so) it can be used for illicit transactions, transactions out of the recorded view, and grudgingly, is therefore likely to be an instrument supporting a crime.

    But every prepaid debit card I'm aware of these days has to be registered to its owner, because: terrorism. Transactions involving those cards are traceable. Therefore the "used for illicit transactions" fails on the face, because these supposed illicit transactions would be overt, reviewable.

    So it seems to me that taking money from a prepaid debit card owned by a person--that is holding it--would have to constitute theft, not forfeiture, since it appears to me that the justification for forfeiture fails.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2016 @ 11:57am

      Re: Theft not forfeiture

      The theory with cash is straightforward enough: untraceable (nearly so) it can be used for illicit transactions, transactions out of the recorded view, and grudgingly, is therefore likely to be an instrument supporting a crime.

      But every prepaid debit card I'm aware of these days has to be registered to its owner, because: terrorism. Transactions involving those cards are traceable.


      You're on the right track. Prepaid credit cards (gift cards) are anonymous.

      The cops here are asking for far more than they need, knowing everyone will be smugly content with preventing the unreasonable draining of gift cards. Meanwhile, they get away with the continued erosion of our privacy: linking scanned gift cards with the identity of individuals who committed the suspicious activity of interstate travel.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Frost (profile), 10 Jun 2016 @ 1:11am

    Highway robbery by armed bandits.

    If you convict someone of a crime and take the property that was most likely acquired through criminal means, that's fine. The property should be sold at auction and the money go to fund something sensible, like social security. Under no circumstances directly back to the police force, which then has a direct incentive to falsely accuse people.

    But taking money from citizens without ever giving them a day in court?

    Highway robbery. It fits the textbook definition. Just because these people have uniforms and a paycheck from the state doesn't mean they're not criminals.

    Merriam-Webster defines it: "robbery committed on or near a public highway usually against travelers." Ie, exactly what is being done with impunity right now in Oklahoma (and other places).

    Why isn't there an uproar? Why aren't these police being arrested by federal authorities?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2016 @ 2:37am

    Call for all hackers

    Obtain an ERAD device and develop a card that will use said device to transfer funds from the law enforcement account to the card in question while causing the ERAD device to show that transfer was successful.

    What is needed here boys to bring this about? Do this often enough surreptitiously and the law enforcement account will go negative, do it properly and the specific LEO will cop the blame for the negative transaction.

    It should have the positive effect of making the ERAD device unusable and very unprofitable for the ERAD manufacturers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2016 @ 5:58am

    It's worth pointing out,

    that Oklahoma is a large dry state with a low population density. Stranding people without gas money could easily lead to death from exposure.

    Notably this kind of banditry is not new in this region. The O.K. panhandle has been a favourite for desperado's for hundreds of years. Police shakedowns, are also probably nothing new here. What is new, is the federal endorsement of it.

    I regard this as economic warfare against the federal reserve bank. Federally endorsed banditry has an effect on the way the world see's the stability of the U.S. dollar. Treating the Dollar like the Colombian Peso, is going to make the world view the dollar like the Colombian Peso.

    So at a macro economic level, the effect is the same as the redcoats printing their own continentals, or the nazis printing five pound notes. It dilutes currency valuation.

    There is no long term gain for the fed in letting this continue. Encouraging people into the black market is going to have consequences. George Washington learned that the hard way in 1791 when congress started demanding cash tax revenues from markets that weren't cash driven.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    WDS (profile), 10 Jun 2016 @ 7:35am

    How many more are there we don't yet know about.

    I'm sure the company making these and taking a cut, did not just make 16 of them. While Oklahoma is taking the abuse here, the question is how many other states have and use them, but just are keeping their mouths closed about it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2016 @ 11:24am

    Disgusting. Feel helpless yet?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tim B, 10 Jun 2016 @ 12:31pm

    sales pitch on Officer.com

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tortured for My Faith in Jesus, 10 Jun 2016 @ 12:44pm

    VIOLATION FEELS LIKE RAPE

    Asset forfeiture in America is a grossly perverse violation of civil law and due process. I'm sure Hillary Clinton will want to stop this injustice once she is instituted into the presidency.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 10 Jun 2016 @ 1:53pm

      Re: VIOLATION FEELS LIKE RAPE

      I'm sure Hillary Clinton will want to stop this injustice once she is instituted into the presidency.

      Good for you. Being sure of what Hillary Clinton actually is aiming to do once she is president is a privilege not granted to many. If she knows herself, she certainly knows how to keep a secret. Contrast this with Trump who wants to do five conflicting things within two paragraphs.

      Moron or weasel: your turn, America.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2016 @ 8:56pm

      Re: VIOLATION FEELS LIKE RAPE

      I'm sure Hillary Clinton will want to stop this injustice once she is instituted into the presidency.

      Is this the same Hillary Clinton that has said that any man accused of sexual assault against a woman should be automatically deemed guilty unless he can *prove* his innocence? Yeah, I don't she's too averse to "injustice".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyoty (profile), 10 Jun 2016 @ 11:05pm

    Fundraising Drives

    If you want to drive through Oklahomah carrying any kind of money, you must be on drugs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    AC720 (profile), 12 Jun 2016 @ 8:22am

    Lots of companies PAY employees on prepaid cards

    Lots of low-end jobs pay their employees via prepaid cards. Many McDonalds stores pay this way because it's easier than paying by check, and in any case, many of the workers don't have traditional bank accounts. I don't see why this should make them guilty of anything. Seizing their money without trial is just ludicrous.

    There have also been times when I've legitimately carried large amounts of cash. A group I used to work with held an annual event of sorts and I ended on on the crew counting ticket proceeds and packaging them to make a bank deposit. As it happened, the people on that crew including myself were all licensed weapon holders and we were, in fact, very well armed as we carried nearly $200,000 in cash to a bank deposit drop chute.

    Would have been a real pain to get stopped by the cops. Several heavily armed men with a lot of cash? Surely they can't simply be trying to protect themselves and their honestly-acquired money!?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 12 Jun 2016 @ 11:07am

      Re: Lots of companies PAY employees on prepaid cards

      Would have been a real pain to get stopped by the cops. Several heavily armed men with a lot of cash? Surely they can't simply be trying to protect themselves and their honestly-acquired money!?

      So much the better. You are much less likely to shoot the confiscating policemen than drug couriers would be. We are talking about ordinary highway men, I mean policemen here, not special forces. They wouldn't mess with actual drug lords. They are neither trained nor paid for that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    runitbyme (profile), 13 Jun 2016 @ 4:31pm

    What does an Oklshoma State Trooper look at to determine if you are suspicious? The age of his patrol car.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    runitbyme (profile), 15 Jun 2016 @ 5:23am

    I thought it funny that top cop Thompson said when he temporarily suspended the ERAD theft program, that the highway patrol may have lost a little respect in the past week. Understatement of the year. Cops in Oklahoma are now vilified by most of the public. All because cops now see the benefits of robbery and know while they can divide up the proceeds among themselves, there is no risk of jail if they overstep whatever weak boundaries exist (student loan payoff anyone?). Best job for a thief in the world!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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