The FBI executed a search and seizure warrant at the US Private Vaults company in Beverly Hills, California, in March 2021. According to Fox News, the agency seized the contents of over 1,400 safety deposit boxes at the location during the raid. The total take appears to have surpassed $86 million in cash, with millions more in jewels and precious metals. Part of that money belonged to Linda Martin, who has yet to be reimbursed by the FBI.
Martin was reportedly interviewed by Fox News on March 18 about her ordeal. According to the woman, she had over $40,000 in cash stored at the facility because she was saving for a house. She may be out of money for good now. Martin said she received a notice from the agency months after the raid, stating that the entity was attempting to keep her money through civil forfeiture. That procedure, according to Brittanica, allows the government to keep the seized property if the person is suspected of a crime.
The notice instructed her on how to request the return of her money. Martin took action to help herself and others while she awaits a response from the FBI. She, along with the Institute for Justice, filed a class action lawsuit against the bureau, demanding that they return not only her money, but the assets of anyone else who has been in the same situation.
The FBI took her life savings. Now she’s fighting to help others get theirs back.https://t.co/8bJgzP4oto— Teny Sahakian (@TenySahakian) March 18, 2023
The LA Times reported in March 2022 that US Private Vaults pleaded guilty to conspiring with its customers to launder drug money. The company claimed it attracted drug traffickers as customers and admitted that employees not only sold illegal drugs on the premises but also advised customers on how to conceal their alleged wrongdoings by structuring their transactions in a specific way. So far, it appears that the federal government has returned a significant portion of the seized property. Martin, on the other hand, is still waiting.