Justice and Law Enforcement:
Millions of Dollars in Seized Cash Can Be Deposited Faster
T-GGD-87-7, Mar 13, 1987
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO testified on the Customs Service's and Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) cash seizure and forfeiture programs. GAO found that: (1) controls over seized and forfeited cash were either not in place or inadequate, which resulted in Customs and DEA holding millions of dollars unnecessarily before depositing them into designated U.S. Treasury accounts; (2) the delays in depositing seized funds increased the administrative costs and risks in handling, storing, and accounting for the cash; (3) although Customs had no established standard for depositing seized and forfeited cash, there was no national policy to account for seized assets and to adequately monitor case status; (4) there was no national inventory of seized cash deposited in interest-bearing accounts; (5) Customs' lack of a Treasury deposit account led to sporadic deposits of pre-forfeited cash into commercial bank accounts at below-Treasury interest rates; and (6) DEA asset seizure and forfeiture case tracking and inventory systems did not readily provide data on the total amount, type, or value of seized assets.