Under civil asset forfeiture, police can seize property suspected of involvement in criminal activity. Unlike criminal asset forfeiture, with civil forfeiture, people don't have to be convicted—or even charged--with a crime to permanently lose their cars, homes, or cash.
Even worse, in many cases, police get to keep what they seize through asset forfeiture. As long as cops get to keep what they seize, civil asset forfeiture will keep on spawning scandals.
So law enforcement has a strong incentive to pad their budgets and buy ridiculous things like:
14. $10,000 worth of Gatorade
13. A Zamboni
11. "Disney Training"
Those Milwaukee County sheriffs also splurged on “customer service training” from the Disney Institute. Using almost $25,000 in forfeiture funds, police attended ”Disney’s Approach to Business Excellence,” learning both “thinking ‘inside’ the box” as well as “thinking ‘outside’ the box.”
As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel points out, ”None of the spending violated federal rules governing asset forfeiture money, but it did run afoul of county procurement rules.”