Check out the latest news from Oklahoma:
You may have heard of civil asset forfeiture.
That’s where police can seize your property and cash without first proving you committed a crime; without a warrant and without arresting you, as long as they suspect that your property is somehow tied to a crime.
Now, the 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.
At least manufactured spending doesn’t look suspicious, since normal people often drive to and fro with tons of gift cards, prepaids, and money orders in their vehicles.
And remember: incentives matter. If you have a few thousand dollars of cards in your car on the way back from CVS or the mall or wherever, the authorities have an incentive to grab it since they get a cut of the loot, as does the ERAD manufacturer:
News 9 obtained a copy of the contract with the state.
It shows the state is paying ERAD Group Inc., $5,000 for the software and scanners, then 7.7 percent of all the cash the highway patrol seizes.
Fortunately for all of us, manufactured spending is dying anyway…