A federal judge issued a sharp rebuke to the FBI's attempt to expose the identity of one of the anonymous victims of a March raid that seized more than $86 million in cash, jewelry, and other valuables from safe deposit boxes in Beverly Hills, California. Now a new legal effort is seeking to force the government to explain its own still-secret justification for the raid.
In a ruling issued last week, U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner rejected prosecutors' request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the owner of Box 904, one of more than 600 safe deposit boxes seized by the FBI during the March 22 raid of U.S. Private Vaults. The box-holder, identified in court documents under the pseudonym "Charles Coe," claims to have lost more than $900,000 in cash and other valuables. In trying to get the lawsuit dismissed, prosecutors also asked Klausner to force Coe to identify himself publicly before returning the seized property.