The Caswells have been in the motel business since the 50’s when Russ Caswell’s father first built the motel in Massachusetts. Russ and his wife are now getting up in years and thinking about retirement. Their motel property is worth about $1 million, and they have no mortgage on it, so they’ve been able to work through the years and save up their money.
Now, they’re in trouble with the Feds. Technically, the Caswells aren’t, but their property is. The Caswells have no criminal history whatsoever, but because there has been drug use in their motels rooms over the past 20 years, the Feds and police are attempting to confiscate their property under civil forfeiture laws. Both the Feds and police stand to gain financially from this seizure. If the court approves the confiscation, the Feds would keep 20% of the proceeds after they sell it, and the local police would keep the remaining 80%. They call this “equitable sharing.” Yep, they can just do that.