Missouri State Auditor releases report on seizures by law enforcement

Handcuffs on Money

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released a compilation of property seizures made under Missouri’s Criminal Activity Forfeiture Act (CAFA) in 2020. The Auditor’s report shows law enforcement officials seized an estimated $4.2 million worth of property in 502 seizures. In 2019, law enforcement officials seized approximately $5.9 million worth of property in 493 seizures.

Under the Criminal Activity Forfeiture Act, law enforcement officials may take possession of property or cash believed to be involved in or related to a crime. State law requires prosecuting attorneys and the Attorney General to file information about reported seizures each year with the State Auditor’s Office.

Approximately 39 percent of the total seized in 2020 was transferred to federal agencies. The remainder was either returned (11 percent), transferred to the state (1 percent), or still pending a final decision (47 percent). Approximately 2 percent of reported seizures did not indicate the disposition of the seized property or listed another disposition.

Additional information is available in the compilation report, which is available online here. This report covers forfeitures under Missouri’s CAFA. A report on activities under federal forfeiture laws will be released later this year.