Developer Burum’s attorney says FBI searches unconstitutional

Joe Nelson, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 10/04/2011 01:59:35 PM PDT

Federal search warrants served at the home and business of Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum were unconstitutionally overbroad and vague, according to a motion filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Riverside.

Burum’s attorney, Stephen G. Larson, is demanding that all of Burum’s property seized during the Sept. 15 FBI and IRS raid immediately be returned to him.

The warrants were served at nine locations in San Bernardino and Riverside counties in connection with a sweeping corruption scandal involving allegations of bribery, extortion and fraud, according to the federal search warrant.

The allegations stem from a $102 million legal settlement between the county and Burum’s development consortium, Colonies Partners LP, in November 2006.

Larson argues in his motion that federal agents were essentially on a fishing expedition when they seized financial records, computers, a mobile phone and family trust documents, among other evidence, during the searches, thus violating Burum’s civil rights.

“The warrants improperly authorized the wholesale and indiscriminate seizure of evidence without any attempt to limit the scope of what was seized or particularize the warrants to the locations searched or suspected criminal activity,” according to the motion.

In short, Larson argued that the warrants authorized the federal government to “seize the haystack to look for the needle.”

“Mr. Burum has been prejudiced and irreparably harmed by the government’s unconstitutional warrants and seizures,” Larson said in his motion.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Burum and three former county officials are already facing a criminal trial in San Bernardino Superior Court for allegedly conspiring to steer the landmark legal settlement between the county and Colonies Partners LP in the developer’s favor. The settlement ended nearly five years of heated legal battle over who was responsible for paying for a nearly 70-acre flood control basin at the developer’s Colonies at San Antonio residential and Colonies Crossroads retail development adjacent the 210 Freeway in Upland.

Also charged in the state’s case are former county Supervisor Paul Biane, former assistant assessor Jim Erwin and Mark Kirk, former chief of staff for Supervisor Gary Ovitt. All four deny any wrongdoing.

During the Sept. 15 searches federal agents also served warrants at the homes of Biane, Erwin and Kirk and the Riverside office of Patrick O’Reilly, a publicist who has been identified as an alleged co-conspirator in the state’s case but not charged with any crime.

In March, former Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Postmus pleaded guilty to more than two dozen criminal charges in the Colonies corruption scandal and a separate scandal at the Assessor’s Office in which he was accused of running a political operation out of the office at taxpayer expense.

Postmus is alleged to have conspired with Burum to settle the lawsuit in exchange for bribes and political favors. He and Biane, along with Ovitt, approved the settlement on Nov. 28, 2006. The settlement was not ratified by County Counsel or outside counsel commissioned by the county.

As part of a plea bargain with state and local prosecutors, Postmus has agreed to turn state’s evidence and testify against the defendants in exchange for reduced charges of conspiracy, conflict of interest and misappropriation of public funds.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

15 thoughts on “Developer Burum’s attorney says FBI searches unconstitutional

  1. You’re really a just right webmaster. The site loading velocity is amazing. It kind of feels that you are doing any unique trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve performed a great job in this matter!

  2. Excellent blog here! Also your website lots up fast! What web host are you the usage of? Can I get your affiliate hyperlink in your host? I want my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  3. You need to take part in a contest for one of the highest quality websites on the internet.

    I most certainly will highly recommend this
    web site! payday loans for self employed

  4. I’ve been surfing online greater than 3 hours nowadays, yet I by no means found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is beautiful price enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good content material as you probably did, the web can be a lot more useful than ever before.

  5. Everything is very open with a very clear description of the challenges.
    It was definitely informative. Your website is very useful.
    Thanks for sharing! 100 guaranteed payday loans online

  6. You’ve made some really good points there. I looked on the net for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website. payday loans no credit check

  7. Howdy! This blog post couldnt be written any better! Looking at this article reminds
    me of my previous roommate! He always kept preaching about this.
    I most certainly will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he’ll have a very good read. Thanks for sharing! payday loans no credit check

  8. Aw, this was a really good post. Spending some time and actual
    effort to generate a good article but what can I say I hesitate
    a lot and don’t manage to get anything done. bank charges fee

  9. Somebody necessarily assist to make significantly articles I’d state. That is the first time I frequented your website page and to this point? I amazed with the research you made to create this particular submit incredible. Great process!

  10. If you wish for to increase your know-how
    only keep visiting this site and be updated with the latest
    information posted here.

  11. Unquestionably believe that which you said.
    Your favorite reason appeared to be at the internet the easiest
    factor to remember of. I say to you, I definitely get irked
    at the same time as other folks consider issues that they just don’t recognise about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and also outlined out the entire thing without having side-effects , other people could take a signal. Will probably be again to get more. Thanks

  12. Typically, borrowers who else have low or perhaps
    even poor credit rating are refused normally , kinds of loans.

    All the public have to will is agree to the terms akin to the loan.

    You may are an employee getting a certain monthly salary per month.
    tesco payday loans

Comments are closed.