PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A man whose daughter claims his life savings of more than $82,000 were wrongfully seized at Pittsburgh International Airport will get his money back.
Rebecca Brown couldn’t believe it: “They literally reached into my pocket and took my dad’s life savings.”
She says the DEA took her dad’s money before she could board her plane to Boston. Hundreds of travelers witnessed it. She said it was embarrassing.
Her father, 79-year-old Terry Rolin, is a retired railroad engineer born and raised in Pittsburgh. He’s saved money most of his life and stashed it in his home. But the family decided it was too much money to leave lying around.
In August, Brown says she was taking the $82,000 back to Boston to put it in the bank, but that 82 grand never got past security.
In January, a non-profit group known as the Institute for Justice sued to get his money back. They said the DEA does this all the time. And in Rolin’s case, there was no other evidence of a crime.
Now, the Institute for Justice says the DEA sent them a letter saying “after further review, a decision has been made to return the property.”
Though the DEA gave the money back, the lawsuit is still pending.
“This was my legal right to carry this money, on a domestic flight, which is exactly what I did and they decided to take it anyway,” Brown told KDKA’s Paul Martino during a video chat.
She also says her father had to put off necessary dental work and couldn’t make critical repairs to his truck.
“The government shouldn’t be able to take money for no reason, hang on to it for months and then give it back like nothing happened, which is why the lawsuit we filed will continue,” Brown says in the release. “No one should be forced to go through this nightmare.”