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Value of criminal forfeitures decline 50% to $2.4M in Missouri last year

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(The Center Square) – Prosecuting attorneys throughout Missouri and Republican Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s office seized $2.4 million total in criminal forfeitures in 2023, a decline of approximately 50% from the 2022 amount.

Republican Missouri Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick published a compilation of last year’s Criminal Activity Forfeiture Act (CAFA) seizure reports from all 115 prosecuting attorneys throughout the state and the attorney general’s office.

Missouri law requires the prosecuting attorneys and Bailey’s office to report the date, time and place of the seizure along with the property seized, the estimated value of that property, the persons from whom the property was seized and the criminal charges filed. The law states intentional or knowing failure to comply with any reporting requirement on criminal forfeitures is a class A misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.

The report showed more than 52% ($1.27 million) of the seizures recorded last year are pending. Federal agencies received $979,560 in transfers of seizures and the state received $30,411.

More than $4.8 million was reported in the 2022 CAFA seizure reports. Slightly more than $2.8 million (58% of the total) was pending and $1.5 million was transferred to a federal agency; $67,501 was transferred to the state.

The largest estimated value of seizures reported in 2023 was by the city of St. Louis at $523,827 from 61 seizures. Fifteen criminal charges were filed in connection with the seizures.

Greene County in southwest Missouri seized $321,759 from 15 seizures and seven criminal charges filed in connection with the seizures. Phelps County in central Missouri seized $279,790 from four seizures, but no criminal charges were filed.

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