Proceeds of Crime / Civil Forfeiture
Government forfeiture of the proceeds of crime was intended to send the message that “crime does not pay” however, it also proved to be an excellent source of revenue. Multidisciplinary forfeiture squads were established in all of the major cities in Canada to more effectively seize property suspected to be tainted by crime. These teams of police, tax investigators, and lawyers use sweeping powers and specialized knowledge to seize cash, cars, and houses – or anything else of value.
Recently, the Alberta Government created their own forfeiture regime. The Civil Forfeiture Office utilizes the far-reaching powers of the Victims Restitution and Compensation Payment Act to launch civil claims against anyone they suspect has committed crime utilizing their property or who may have acquired property from crime. The government never has to prove that any crime was actually committed. The property owner must respond to the action or will automatically lose their property.