Bird Marella achieved a significant victory against the U.S. Government, protecting a client’s Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. This matter represents just one of the victims in the highly-publicized U.S. Private Vaults seizure, where government agents seized hundreds of safe deposit boxes from customers of a private vault service.
Since the raid in March 2021, Bird Marella has sought to prevent the government from interfering with the property rights of box holders for whom the government had neither probable cause nor a valid warrant when they confiscated the property. The FBI is attempting to keep an estimated $86 million in cash and millions more in gold, jewelry, and other valuables it acquired in the unprecedented raid on more than 369 boxes.
On July 23, 2021, Judge R. Gary Klausner denied the government’s motion to dismiss the case, notably denying the Government’s claim that Bird Marella’s client couldn’t use a pseudonym.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, principal Benjamin Gluck noted that “Judge Klausner ruled quite clearly that the government cannot take a citizen’s property and use it as a hostage to enable the government to investigate that person.” He continued saying, “Judge Klausner flatly rejected that idea and said that the citizen has no obligation to provide the government any information to help the government in its investigation of that person.”
Bird Marella represents almost 30 individual clients in challenging the seizures from U.S. Private Vaults. Benjamin Gluck is currently leading the case in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, accompanied by principal Nicole Rodriguez Van Dyk and associate Naomi Solomon.
Read more on Bird Marella’s expertise with government investigations in Chambers and Partners here.