Oklahoma Forfeiture Furor

June 10, 2016

All Posts, News

Oklahoma Forfeiture Furor

A furor has erupted in the last two days over the use of open loop debit card readers by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Oklahoma has a sordid history of using civil forfeiture laws to steal from citizens in order to enrich police departments and individuals connected to the law enforcement industry. In 2013, an anonymous district attorney in the state used $5,000 from a forfeiture fund to pay off his student loans. Another unnamed, Oklahoma prosecutor lived rent free in a seized house for five years and paid his utility bills with forfeited money. Two months ago, Wagoner County Sheriff Bob Colbert and Deputy Jeffrey Gragg were indicted for illegally seizing $10,000 in cash from a driver after a “routine traffic stop.” On February 27, greedy and crooked Oklahoma cops seized $53,000 from the manager of  Christian rock band. The manager planned to donate the money to an orphanage in Myanmar. Cops accused him of being a drug dealer. The case became a national scandal.

Asset forfeiture is the euphemism that describes the seizure of private property and money from people accused of drug crimes. The key word is “accused.” In order to get their money or property back victims of asset forfeiture must hire a lawyer and sue. It has become a major source of funding for police departments all over the country. The cops get to keep what they steal. Seventy percent of forfeiture expenditures in Oklahoma are used to pay cops.

The Good News

The Oklahoma card readers will be used by traffic cops who patrol Interstate Highway 40. Numerous commentators have expressed outrage that police in Oklahoma could simply contrive a traffic stops, accuse their victim of drug trafficking, pull the debit cards from their victim’s wallet and use the new card readers to steal all the money in a victim’s bank account. Wednesday in the Washington Post, Radley Balko reported “the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has a device that also allows them to seize money in your bank account or on prepaid cards.”

“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.”

Then Balko quoted a cretinous Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokesman who explained, “We’re gonna look for different factors in the way that you’re acting. We’re gonna look for if there’s a difference in your story. If there’s someway that we can prove that you’re falsifying information to us about your business.”

The good news is that things aren’t quite that bad yet. Balko got it wrong.

Some Details

First, police cannot touch your cards until after they arrest you. Then, as part of what is often called a post-arrest “inventory search,” while they make a list of the belongings on your person, they can scan your debit card.

Secondly, the card readers do not allow police to steal your bank accounts. The seizures can only be made on prepaid debit cards – cards that are “loaded” in advance with some amount of money at an outlet like Green Dot or Walmart. Those are an alternative to carrying cash. The readers cannot interact with cards connected to a legitimate bank account.

Prepaid debit cards come in two flavors – called open loop and closed loop. Closed loop cards are your prepaid Starbucks or Target card. They can only be used instead of cash for purchases at one business. Open loop prepaid cards can be used anywhere, wherever – for example – Visa or MasterCard are accepted. For the last four years, the Department of Homeland Security has been encouraged to think of open loop cards as a tool of criminals and terrorists. For example, one common argument goes, buying an airplane ticket with cash raises immediate alarms but buying an airplane ticket with an open loop card does not.

T. Jack Williams

And, the principal alarmist behind this fear that open loop debit cards are a national threat is a man named T. Jack Williams. Williams is currently the president of a company called Paymentcard Services, Inc. According to his resume, Williams clients “include multiple federal and state law enforcement agencies including DHS, ICE, and USSS, all of which utilize Mr. Williams as a payment card subject matter expert. His expertise ranges from global infrastructure to forensics, targeting the criminal use of prepaid cards to launder money or finance terrorists.” At a hearing in Carson City, Nevada in March 2015 Williams described himself as “the inventor of the prepaid card.”

In 2012, Williams started another company called ERAD Group, Inc., which is named after the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate’s Electronic Recovery and Access to Data (ERAD) initiative. The readers have been around since 2012. Williams landed a contract with Homeland Security that year. According to Homeland Security, the card readers are supposed to be used to detect “fraudulent cards.”

“The ERAD Prepaid Card Reader is a small, handheld device that uses wireless connectivity to allow law enforcement officers in the field to check the balance of cards,” the Department states. “This allows for identification of suspicious prepaid cards and the ability to put a temporary hold on the linked funds until a full investigation can be completed.”

Oklahoma is buying its card readers from ERAD Group, Inc., and according to the contract the state signed with ERAD, Williams will get 7.7 percent of the money seized using the card readers. And it is all perfectly legal.

The Law

Earlier this year, in a “proprietary and confidential” brochure aimed at law enforcement agencies:

Williams argued that according to US v. Alabi and US v. Bah “interrogating the magnetic stripe of a confiscated credit, debit or prepaid card does not violate an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights.” He reads Riley v. California to mean “individuals do not have privacy rights with magnetic stripe cards.” And he tells his potential police customers that the cases Oklahoma v. Eighty Three (83) Walmart Gift Cards and various MasterCards and Visa Cards and US v. Ross William Ulbricht, ak/a “Dread Pirate Roberts,” a/k/a “DPR,” a/k/a “Silk Road” instruct that “prepaid cash cards are…currency.”

The bad news is that this is just the beginning.


32 Responses to “Oklahoma Forfeiture Furor”

  1. Brad Milch Says:

    This story is a good example of why Rebel’s website should be required reading for the young in middle , high schools & junior colleges. What Rebel describes is the real USA those young students will eventually be dealing with. The grab for people’s possessions has been going on for centuries; it contributed to the fall of the Roman empire, the French revolution & the thievery Native Americans suffered by early European settlers, the military, US & state governments.

    At present, the mass grab for the bikes, cars & trucks the Waco riders lost from the Waco II biker ambush & the wiping out of the Southern Ohio Rhoden family & their collective assets has set a high standard for nation wide LEO to mimic & exceed.

    As Rebel explains, the scumbags are working on it.

  2. Paladin Says:

    At some point, the retaliation against the government sponsored domestic terrorism is going to be epic. Unless my life is cut short, I have no doubt I will see a hard rain fall in my lifetime.


  3. Dan-O Says:

    No, Rebel. You’re wrong.

    It’s not the beginning. It’s another step in the direction we as a country have been heading for decades. Or should I say it’s the direction the government and media have been taking us. And it will not end.

    We have become a nation of sheep and those who dare to step out of line or question the party line or refuse to go along with the crowd are silenced. Watch your back, Rebel.

  4. Parsifal Says:

    Yeah! Things aren’t looking so good for those who think they are “ruling,” the world. The Government, Police, Clergy/on and on and on have been Raping us at our own expense. Is this the Summer of our Discontent?

    The sleeping Giant awakens!

  5. Mad Dog Says:

    Jesus Fucking Christ! This kind of shit reminds me of the Grand Inquisitor in Doestoevski’s “The Brother Karamazov,” who told Jesus that people prefer security to freedom and responsibility. We’re in the process of abdicating our freedom, in the name of national security, to a gang of criminals disguised as “law enforcement” officials.

  6. Brad H Says:

    After having a credit card number snagged from a website after making my one and only purchase on line, I have been using prepaid debit cards for traveling, securing motel reservations, car rentals and as gifts for my grandchildren.
    Banks, identity theft prevention information outlets and other financial service institutions recommend using prepaid cards to protect your bank accounts, personal information and prevent identity theft. Obviously none of the aforementioned organizations have traveled to the state of Oklahoma.

  7. XYZ Says:

    DEA Wants Inside Your Medical Records to Fight the War on Drugs


    “The primary purpose of PDMPs is healthcare, not law enforcement,” the AMA said, adding that while PDMPs provide for referrals to law enforcement, they are not designed to be “a tool or repository for law enforcement to initiate access to gather information,” as is the case here with the DEA’s administrative subpoena.

  8. Phuquehed Says:

    FTG and fuck the pigs.

  9. Base Says:

    The irony:

    We say put body camera’s on every cop to show exactly what happens when cops interact with the population. The police start screaming there is no money and it would cost tax payers.

    They say they want new tech to be able to seize the publics property & funds. The police say it’s all good and well within the budget and won’t cost the tax payer anything.


  10. Easy_C Says:

    I’m one of the guys who forwarded the story, and I’ll step up and say that this is only the beginning.

    My background is a bit unique….I’m a vet who cleaned up a bit and went white collar because of a financial need and it’s given access to some interesting people. Part of that has allowed me to meet some interesting people and the other part of it has helped me narrow down on some good sources.

    Folks at the top genuinely believe that the ONLY reason there’s a problem, is that people are avoiding taxes on the black market. If we can just get rid of that, the reasoning goes, then we will have enough money to pay for our programs and we can hold on to our power without a fiscal collapse and civil unrest…..nevermind the startling lack of self reflection: they’d just spend any more cash they get on grift, pork, and fraud and not on fixing the problem. If government was running a gumball machine they’d take out a loan against the cash from the machine and spend it all while completely forgetting that they have to buy more gumballs to keep it going.

    Here’s the bottom line: the end goal is to create a cashless society. The idea there is that once we have that it will be impossible for people to hide their money, escape taxes, or for any black market transactions exist. They will be able to collect a transaction tax on EVERY exchange of money and banks will be able to charge you a negative interest rate just for holding your money in an account….which you won’t be able to escape because the system is cashless.

    To put it layman’s term, they want you to be an economic chattel and that they will own the money you produce, not you.

  11. XYZ Says:

    The Texas Supreme Court today ruled that law enforcement can seize assets even when police officers violated the law and conducted an illegal search.


  12. Elwood Green Says:

    T. Jack Williams is to prepaid cards, like Steve Cook is to Motorcycle clubs!

  13. Mercyful Fate Says:

    Easy_C said “Here’s the bottom line: the end goal is to create a cashless society.”

    That is correct. I don’t know how many folks here believe in a higher power but this is a prelude to what’s coming and was foretold in the bible. According to the good book the bigger end goal is the mark of beast. You will neither be able to buy or sell without that number.

    The mark, or number, will actually be the uniquely identifiable number associated with an electronic chip implanted in your body – probably at birth at the rate we’re going – thus you won’t be carrying cash or cards in your wallet in the future since your “identity” will be the number on that chip. Like a parcel for delivery you will be scanned and tracked everywhere you go.

    It’s not a large leap from micro-chips implanted in dogs to micro-chips implanted in humans for identification purposes.

    Of course, this will initially be introduced under the guise of “think of the children”, or “if you have nothing to hide”, or “because terrorists”.

    Unfortunately, this is not tin-foil hat bullshit, and the outlaws will be the free peoples either with implant removed or with a hacker-modified ID.


  14. Bone Head Says:

    Easy_C Says: …If government was running a gumball machine they’d take out a loan against the cash from the machine and spend it all while completely forgetting that they have to buy more gumballs to keep it going…

    Plain and simple fact. Thank you.

  15. gooch Says:

    “greedy and crooked Oklahoma cops seized $53,000 from the manager of Christian rock band. The manager planned to donate the money to an orphanage in Myanmar.”

    If there is a hell I’d love to be the one to show these slime balls to the entrance. Stealing from orphans, WTF.

    “States across the country are revising laws that allow police to seize a person’s cash and property without a conviction, following widespread complaints about agencies profiteering off such legislation, holdovers from the “Miami Vice” cocaine era.” ~ Posted today on fox news

    “Right now, 47 of the 50 states allow so-called civil asset forfeitures, with New Hampshire set to effectively end such practices, which allow property and currency to be seized even if it’s only suspected of being connected to a crime.”

    “$167,000 in cash seized by the Nevada state police, which suspected him of transporting drugs but only issued him traffic tickets.”

    “In another highly-publicized case, a small-town Mississippi police department built a $4.1 million training facility and bought a fleet of new police cruisers from such forfeitures.”


    Rebel On!

  16. Jackie Treehorn Says:

    Just cancelled my vacation plans to Okilahoma

  17. Meh Says:

    “Just cancelled my vacation plans to Oklahoma”

    Much flyover country is best flown over.

  18. YooperOutWest Says:

    Gooch posted: ““$167,000 in cash seized by the Nevada state police, which suspected him of transporting drugs but only issued him traffic tickets.”

    This is the case of a man named Straughn Gorman, who was pulled over by the Nevada Highway Patrol back in 2013 while driving a motor home through the state on his way to California. He was stopped because he was in the left lane and not traveling at a high enough rate of speed. Gorman refused to consent to a search of the motor home, and was then allowed to go on his way. However,the highway patrolman then contacted a police officer in Elko, NV who had a drug sniffing dog, who then pulled Gorman over again. The dog ‘alerted’ on the vehicle and it was searched for drugs. None were found, but the $167,000 in cash was found and seized by the police, along with his laptop and the motor home, which belonged to his brother. The motor home and computer were eventually returned, but of course the $167,000 in cash wasn’t. Gorman hired an attorney to help him recover his cash, and a federal judge ruled in 2015 that Gorman should get his $167,000 back and also stated that he was entitled to seek reimbursement for his legal fees from the government. The US attorney then appealed the federal judges’ decision, and the case is still in limbo in the 9th circuit. The US attorney also asked that Gorman be denied reimbursement for his legal fees, which to this point have amounted to $153,000. Here are 3 links with the chronological details of Gorman’s frightful saga:




    And so the transformation from ‘The Land of The Free’ to the modern day Gulag Archipelago continues at warp speed.

  19. IronRider Says:

    Law Enforcement loves seizing cash for whatever the excuse is, dont matter if your some famliy travelling across the U.S. or your on the way to buy a used vehicle for someone, If you have cash, they can call it suspicious for whatever reason they want and plunder it.

    The thing Law Enforcement really loves about seizing your cash is how difficulty it is for you to get it back and how they dont give you any notice when they are applying to the courts to seize it, that’s the kicker.

    If you dont get a lawyer and start fighting over it immediately, your chances of getting it back are nil especially if your trying to do this on your own. Law Enforcement is playing the stacked deck against the person they seized the cash from, and when you do fight for it, get ready for them to say okay, we will give you 75% back and we will keep 25% or some other shitty settlement offers.

    Dont believe that Law Enforcemnt agencies all over aren’t doing this, because they are, the Oklahoma way is a whole new way for them to get at your cash . I would advise all of Rebels readers to read these couple of stories:




    Nowadays Law Enforcement has turned not only breaking the laws they are sworn to uphold but to monetizing traffic stops by making up shit to pull you over so they can see if they can relieve you of your funds. It isn’t just in Oklahoma that this is happening it is happening all over and they love to seize your cash because it goes into some seized accts funds and what ever law enforcement entity and the feds split the seize cash on a percentage bases

    If you ever wonder how much of a slippery slope this is read those above links I provided (hope you dont mind Rebel my sharing those links, just want to help share this with people so they know ) The copsmay come up to you with the oh were your friends and were here to help speach, but better keep an eye on your wallet, cause it isnt just the crooks with knives trying to mug you and get your cash nowadays, there are some knew crooks out to get your cash and it say’s “POLICE” on their vehicle

  20. Scubba Steve Says:

    4th amendment:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Pretty simple reading…

  21. Gandalf Says:

    Our Gov craps on everyone and follows no Constitution. That said, 1%ers (and Clubs as a whole) are kicking their ass. Not Losing but growing. I feel for the regular Joes who get jacked up but think 1%ers, Clubs, and Rebels followers are not so easily “jacked up”.

  22. myaikenbak Says:

    If these cards are such a “threat” why does the government itself pay benefits with these cards? And what about the required PIN? They could access a card without it?

  23. Straight Shooter Says:

    With a cashless society, the real power will be in the ‘chip that will be in every human. It will have ALL personal data & barcode. Location via GPS. And it will be a receiver. Biometric will screw your free will. Do not play ball & they shut the chip off for food & money/credit. Mess up bad & the drone you via GPS. Its biblical. These are the End Times. We have Hell to pay. Cell towers are a major key in this electronic control system. Look around town & country. You see them EVERYWHERE.

  24. Meh Says:

    Technically prepaid cards would constitute currency. Bitcoin is an example of pure virtual currency.

    FWIW all currency is “fiat money”. Gold is functionally useless to a non-manufacturing individual but serves as a holdover standard from ancient times. In an economic collapse if there is no food, no gold will buy my livestock.

    Technophobes and superstitionists focus on technology because it appears magical to them. They desperately want their (usually Middle Eastern) nonsense to fit the world so they pretend it does. (Why anyone of European origin respects anything originating from the Middle East is a mystery.)

    The true problem as ever is bad government. Focus on that.

  25. Potmetal Says:

    @Scubba Steve says:

    “4th amendment:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Pretty simple reading…”

    That statement is predicated upon the assumption that whomever is provided the sworn oath or affirmation is of integrity. ACAB.

  26. Tommy Says:

    and it keeps on getting worse in this country…….Freedom? Ha

  27. Meh Says:

    If Waco had that gear they could have robbed many “suspects” they kidnapped under color of law on the spot and that money would not have been available for legal defense.

    At least they aren’t coming for your gold teeth….yet.

  28. Austin Says:

    My job quit distributing paychecks about 4 years ago. You can have Direct Deposit – or one of those cards.

  29. Drifter Says:

    One of the civilian assholes behind this is a former chp pig by the name of Joe David. David from his website snowdesert dot com, encourages and trains pigs on how to steal your money more efficiently if you will. He appears to be one of the driving forces behind the continued escalation of the tech war in order to achieve the states goal, steal your money without conviction.

    He benefited/benefits from lap dog fed grant money and also maintains another companion website named black aspahlt. Aspahlt is reported to be a networking site for 1000’s of pigs to share interdiction information and tactics on how to conduct their forfeiture effort better, and share information on potential prey.

    2014 Washingtonpost article clip;

    “In 2004, David started a private intelligence network for police known as the Black Asphalt Electronic Networking & Notification System. It enabled officers and federal authorities to share reports and chat online. In recent years, the network had more than 25,000 individual members, David said. ”

    The drug war, the sinister state operatives stealing money cause they can, is a drug war problem within itself. Brought on by slobbering pigs and prosecutors that have no problem being oath breakers treating each stop as a potential cash cow, and being addicted to it.

  30. DocHolliday Says:

    Well…. it might only be a temporary haunt to the program but it’s a start…


  31. DocHolliday Says:

    *halt not haunt damn phone….

  32. tony S. Says:

    Most tourists who go to the US use open loop cash cards, and if Okla plod start picking on riders who are riding 66 (like me) from abroad what sort of protection from this sort of harassment would we have?

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